Cannes Lions

"The Most Dangerous Town On The Internet" Episode 1: Hackerville


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“The Most Dangerous Town on the Internet” is an original brand documentary film series created by Norton to make the ambiguous, intangible nature of digital security real.

Blurring the lines between advertising and entertainment, the films put a name and a face to the nameless and faceless perpetrators of some of today’s most malicious online crimes. The goal of the films are simple: to educate, enlighten, and leave our audience better prepared to keep going boldly, not blindly in a world where everything is connected.


Our media strategy focused on developing a highly distributed content model that enabled people to watch the films whenever and wherever they desired. We knew that in today’s saturated content marketplace, simply creating a great films and putting them on YouTube for the world to seek out was foolish.

Working with a leading digital content distribution company, we placed our films in the myriad locations where people seek out this kind of content—namely, iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, Xbox, and Google Play, to name a few. In total, we distributed the films in eight languages to 40 countries.

With our distribution model in place, we partnered with Soho House to accelerate the launch with a series of premiere screenings in Chicago, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. We invited influencers to generate a groundswell of conversation and PR, which we then amplified with digital video and native content.


Immediately following the launch of the film, we received high praise from a host of influential publications, netting 130 placements in global top-tier media including Fast Company, Vice, The Verge, and BuzzFeed. The engagement strategy fueled record high engagement, and a positive sentiment of 94%, while cross platform distribution generated 4MM+ views.

Most impressive, however, was the impact the films had on the Norton brand. A comScore Site Recruit study revealed that the films “significantly increased almost every reportable metric, especially unaided awareness and positive perceptions of Norton.” More specifically, the comScore study revealed a 220% increase in top-of-mind awareness, a +25.6 point lift in perception of superiority, and a +30.8 point lift in perception of brand value. Ultimately, the effort fueled the first year of positive growth for Norton in a decade.

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