Tune in to this episode of the Will It Stick? Podcast with hosts Alexis and Melissa as they take a look at how brands go viral over time. Listen as these two break down the craziest brand stunts and how the companies did—or didn’t—stick! In this episode, they take a look at the history of LifeLock, an identity theft and security monitoring company. Find out the crazy stunt that CEO, Todd Davis, performed in giving out his social security information to thousands of people in order to prove just how good their company was. Did it work? Find out here!
They take us back to 2007 in Arizona when this insane ordeal broke out. Todd Davis and Robert Maynard founded this company from the personal issue Robert had experienced in being arrested due to someone stealing his identification for a casino loan. While in Jail he realized that if credit bureaus were better at notifying customers, then this issue could be eradicated. Robert worked tirelessly to clear up his name and discovered the identity theft. Robert and Todd joined forces to stoke the public’s worst fears of identity theft.
LifeLock was created and offered to monitor credit for $10 a month. With the immediate positive press, Todd and Robert wanted to get a bigger buzz. Todd plastered his social security number and private information everywhere. They advertised that their company would “keep your identity safe, even in the wrong hands”. With this flagrant flashing of their confidence to the world, what do you think happened? Did it work? LifeLock is still in business today, what’s the story?
Find out that not only did this stunt fail one time, but Todd’s ID was successfully stolen 13 times out of 87 attempts! The Phoenix New Times in Texas leaked the story first, and the company grappled to cover-up by spinning the story. More leaks came out and it was said that Todd’s personal ID had been “gang-rapped”. To add a layer of complexity, during this time the media discovered Robert’s weird business history and that he was actually previously banned from working in the credit repair industry! The entire story of his identification being stolen was false. He quickly resigned from LifeLock when this was leaked.
What about Todd and LifeLock? The FTC nailed them and basically accused them of operating a scam. They failed to pay the entire fine, so they were investigated again and fined an enormous amount. Todd resigned, but you’ll find out he is doing just fine today. Melissa and Alexis follow Robert and reveal that he tried another business already and it fell through just last year.
While this stunt was an excellent and bold concept, but it failed to have the significant impact it could do to product failure. Find out that the company has continued to thrive today despite this history!
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Discover the Phoenix New Times article discussed here.
Find more information from this Wired article.
Find more info on Wikipedia.
Learn about LifeLock today.
Check out the latest update on Robert Maynard’s recent fallout.
Read this article from BetterMarketing published on Medium by Sean Kernan on May 1, 2020