2012 PRO Award Finalist: Barnes & Noble College Marketing

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros

Norton by Symantec partnered with Barnes & Noble College Marketing (BNCM), a division of Barnes & Noble Inc. with 640 college and university bookstores, to increase brand awareness among the college audience.

Norton launched interactive videos that prompted viewers to attach "allow" or "deny" metaphors for digital dangers, then provided different content based on their choice. The promotion addressed student-related issues in humorous ways, such as dealing with student loans, banking, bar hopping, downloading music, attending sports events and participating in pledge week. The message communicated that security software is a must-have since computer technology is no longer a luxury, but a utility.

Banner ads were placed on frequently visited bookstore website pages. In October 2010 and again in January 2011, more than 5,000 Norton posters were displayed throughout 150 campuses in high-traffic locations; roughly 60,000 door hangers were distributed at 100 schools, each with the words "Allow" on one side and "Deny" on the other. Norton display fixtures, periscope signs and hand sanitizer machines with a play on the words "deny viruses" were installed at main entrances, registers and other high-traffic bookstore locations.

Norton-branded Football Fan Zone tents were placed in and around the bookstores on 10 campuses with football toss games inside. The Fan Zones played off of the products and "deny viruses" themes by providing Kleenex tissues, hand sanitizer, "Deny" scroll banners, and other giveaways. In addition, 500,000 copies of the First Down Guide, BNC's football themed magazine, which included an inside cover ad for Norton, were distributed to people at 52 Division I football school stadiums. A million copies of BNC's student-authored U4U magazine, with a full-page ad for Norton inside, were also distributed.

Norton leveraged its relationship with Marvel Comics to align its summer 2011 campaign with the film "Captain America: The First Avenger," released in July. Two emails were sent to more than 1 million students nationwide, driving them to the online supplier of Norton products. Captain America status updates were posted on nearly 400 campus bookstore Facebook pages, featuring interactive questions, details about an interactive Facebook game and a behind-the-scenes clip related to Captain America's shield. Norton played off the Captain America theme with the tagline "Your shield against cyber evil." The Facebook updates and posters promoted an exclusive BNC comic book offer.

From July 2010 to June 2011, Norton secured more than 50 million impressions. In addition, the Football Fan Zone program resulted in nearly 50,000 total impressions, with 12,750 personal interactions and the distribution of 14,350 premiums. The Captain America comic book and poster distributions resulted in 260,000 impressions.

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