I look like Anthony Michael Hall

There’s only one Ansel Adams, but millions of Uncle Bobs

Symantec Emoticon Photo Contest

The client asked us to refresh their worldwide digital photography contest, hoping we could solve two big problems: 1) Too few submissions 2) all from the wrong demographic. The contest’s predictable categories (best landscape photo, best portrait, etc.) attracted mostly pro photographers. Symantec wanted to engage with the much larger pool of amateur digital camera users.

We relaunched the competition as the Symantec Emoticon Photo Contest, calling for photos of real people imitating 5 common emoticons. Nothing arty, just the kind of “family and friends” shots that most digital camera users already have on hand. The submissions became part of the charm of the site, because we continually added them to home page, creating an ever-expanding slide show of people from around the world winking, smiling, frowning, etc.

Our fun new refresh did the trick, attracting exponentially more entries than the previous year, overwhelmingly from the mainstream digital camera users that Symantec really wanted to reach.

And by celebrating human emotions in digital, shareable, online form, the contest also became infinitely more on-brand. This was the photography contest Symantec should be sponsoring.