Think Goes Occult for Online Software Maker

TV Spots Detail the Desperate Lengths Virus Victims Go To
LOS ANGELES–PC users know that when something goes wrong, making a pact with supernatural or otherworldy forces is not beyond consideration if it gets the equipment working again.
Think New Ideas here incorporates that scenario into its first effort for client, a unit of Network Associates. The $10-15 million national campaign will promote the online company’s anti-virus and performance scanning services.
Three new TV spots breaking this week feature some of the unusual lengths PC users will go to restore their computers. One spot shows a tribal priest using “voodoo” on a PC. “Do you really think this is going to fix my computer?” the customer asks doubtfully. In another spot, a snake-handling exorcist tries to cast out evil from a computer. A voiceover follows, “Want to wipe out viruses automatically? Go online to”
“This campaign is pretty out there,” said Think president Larry Kopald. “Who hasn’t promised their firstborn, if only they could get their computer running again?”
Radio, print and online ads are also part of the launch.
“Our simple message: Retail channels are dead. Delivery of software is now available online,” said Srivats Sampath, president and CEO at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based client. “This is basically the [computer repair service] for the home and small office/home office,” he said. can service any PC with a browser. Subscriptions are currently free, but eventually McAfee plans to charge $29.95 annually, plus the cost of any software it installs. The service launched April 15 and has since signed up more than 800,000 subscribers, according to Sampath.