KC’s client 3M™ Privacy Filters has been awarded the Global Marketing Excellence Award for the 2014 visual hacking campaign we worked on together.

The threat of visual hacking

When thinking about visual privacy and the risk of revealing confidential and sensitive information on exposed screens, 3M needed a better way to highlight the serious threat. 3M™ Privacy Filters are the solution, but what problem do they solve? Enter KC. The agency developed the term ‘visual hacking’ to heighten and dramatize the risk of shoulder surfing.

Jessica Walton, Marketing Communications Manager at 3M Display Materials & Systems Division, says, “People hear the term shoulder surfing and don’t think it’s a serious enough threat to warrant the purchase of a filter. This is far from the case. Your sensitive information is at risk of being stolen when your screen is in clear sight.”

After identifying the problem, 3M shifted the target audience focus from consumer and business audiences to a primarily B2B audience, reaching high-level decision makers and privacy and IT officers who could initiate large-scale purchases of 3M™ Privacy Filters to protect company data from prying eyes.

The campaign

3M partnered with Dr. Larry Ponemon, a leading privacy expert, to conduct the Visual Hacking Experiment and show how quickly and easily visual hackers can access private information. The agency worked on paid, owned and shared media to build awareness, promote sampling and drive sales of privacy filters. Risk assessment tools and digital content helped simplify the purchasing process and educate the audience on the importance of visual privacy.

The results

These changes, alongside an integrated, digital marketing campaign, helped 3M™ Privacy Filters grow significantly and earn the Global Marketing Excellence Award. Sales, website visits and impressions went up. Awareness and Usage tracking showed that recognition and quality perception for 3M also increased, outdistancing all other competitors.

And the campaign continues to grow each year. The visual hacking message and campaign has been expanded to regions outside the U.S. to kick-start privacy filter sales around the world.

According to Walton, “This campaign represented a pretty big departure, especially in terms of audience, but we got there in a calculated way—by researching who was influencing the large scale purchases, and understanding how to reach them with the privacy filter solution. It was an investment that paid significant dividends.”

KC has worked with multiple 3M products and divisions, including Healthcare, Electronics & Energy, Industrial, and Safety & Graphics. See more of our work.