‘Adverband’ Rocks For Symantec

When RockdotRock takes the stage tonight at a club in the Meatpacking district here, it will be as a rock band that has happily sold out—not the club, but to the advertising industry.

The five members are session musicians gathered by New York-based The Night Agency, which touts it as the world’s first “adverband.” Night created the concept for its client, Symantec.

RockdotRock sings and plays original songs (penned with agency staffers) about the dangers of Internet fraud. Their album, The Confidential EP, features tunes such as “Mr. Software” and “Is It You (I’m Talking To?).” Web “influencers” such as bloggers, indie-rock cognoscenti and journalists were invited to attend the free, open-bar event. No future appearances are scheduled as of now.

“The idea is to educate consumers about computer security in an entertaining way,” explained Erin Hintz, vp of marketing at the Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec.

The band is the second of a three-tiered engagement-marketing effort. The first launched in April and was a Web series called “Phished” in which a victim of credit card fraud attempts to solve the crime. The series, also from Night, and available at Safetytown.com, clocked 230,000 unique users in four months with an opt-in rate (for information about Symantec products) of 22 percent. The third leg, a Web-athon, is set for next month.

For RockdotRock, the agency took “less of a tongue-in-cheek tone,” said Scott Cohn, Night’s ecd. “We wanted to…be honest that the goal is to spread an advertising message in the most rocked-out way possible.”

According to TNS Media Intelligence, Symantec spent $30 million in measured media (print, out-of-home, and online) from January through June.

Hintz said said that the total cost for the three legs of Night’s engagement campaign will top out at around $500,000. While it’s too early to measure the effort’s effect on sales, Hintz considers the awareness, engagement and follow-up of “Phished” a success.

She said compared to opt-in averages for this type of marketing of 2 percent.