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Norton brings the fight against cyberbullying to where digital consumers will see it


Norton is partnering with Grey San Francisco to take on cyberbullying

Digital security company Norton has set its sights on addressing one of the more socially sensitive problems happening within its purview — cyberbullying — with an initiative that includes a social media component and a mobile-optimized film.

The campaign is timed for National Bullying Prevention Month and is targeted towards the millions of parents of young children who worry about the dark side of this generation’s increased connectivity. The materials focus on the need to confront cyberbullying and for parents to engage in an open dialogue about what can be an uncomfortable topic with their children.

“Social media is one of the main channels cyberbullying occurs on,” said Christine Bussenius, account director at Grey SF. “We thought the most effective way to spread awareness of the anti-bullying movement was through the same medium.

“Kids are constantly connected— in this day and age it’s unavoidable,” she said. “What we’re trying to do is raise awareness about cyberbullying and teach what needs to be done about it. 

“Our campaign stresses the need for an open dialogue between parents and children as well as trust among both parties: kids need to feel comfortable going to their parents, and parents need to trust that their children will turn to them for help. With a constantly connected generation having this line of trust and communication is crucial, and we hope our conversation guide and video can help spark it.”

Powerful message
Norton’s campaign is in conjunction with creative from Grey’s San Francisco office, and the accompanying film, “Raise Your Voice Against Cyberbullying,” was spurred by a concept from Grey’s creative department. 

The film, currently hosted on Norton’s Facebook and YouTube pages, begins with statistics about cyberbullying and a call to stand up against it. The video then records as teens sit next to their parents, separated by a partition.

Parent and child are separated by a partition to begin the video

They begin to recount episodes of cyberbullying in their own lives— even reading transcripts of conversations that they had with their bullies— as the parents listen, silent. The video then ends with the parents sitting down with their children to talk to each other and viewers about the importance of open communication when tackling cyberbullying.

The resulting video is a heart-wrenching piece of outreach, and even the most cynical consumer would be hard-pressed not to be touched by the pathos Grey and Norton have come together to communicate.

Norton has also released a mobile-optimized e-book in addition to the video. The e-book contains illustrations from 11 to 18 year olds who have been victims of cyberbullying, and also includes tips for parents to recognize the signs of cyberbullying and a guide to help parents start the conversation with their children.

Social media users can also participate in the conversation with the promoted hashtag #RaiseOurVoices.

Teens share their experiences with cyberbullying

Social engagement
Norton has been especially keen on engaging with social initiatives since parent company Symantec shifted its Norton Antivirus brand into Norton Security, a larger service that encompasses a mélange of security features previously fractured into separate products. 

With the rebrand has come a commitment to championing initiatives like the above cyberbullying campaign and a recent campaign on Norton’s social media channels for breast cancer awareness.

The number of brands using social media to increase awareness for social impact projects are growing as marketers realize the viability of the mobile platform. Earlier this month, hair care company Creme of Nature promoted female empowerment through its #byNature campaign (see story). 

Similarly, Burger King spearheaded a campaign for World Literacy month through its McLemore Foundation that universalizes the experience of illiteracy through the use of illegible packaging, auto-translatable Facebook ads and a mobile-optimized video (see story). 

“Talk to each other. Trust each other. The most important part of this campaign is to start a conversation between parents and kids,” said Ms. Bussenius. “Once that happens, kids feel more supported, parents feel less worried. 

“We also want to emphasize that victims of cyberbullying should never feel ashamed or alone,” she said. “Often victims will feel like they’re being bullied for something that’s their fault and that’s not the case at all. 

“We want children involved in cyberbullying to know that everyone stands behind them, and they don’t have to bear the burden alone.”

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Rakin Azfar is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York. Reach him at rakin@napean.com.

Related content: Consumer electronics, Norton, Symantec, Grey San Francisco, cyberbullying

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