The problem with working on-the-go: You can’t take the cubicle with you.

3M, the experts in screen privacy, wanted to raise awareness among business travelers that visual hacking can happen anywhere (especially while traveling for work), but that it’s easy to protect the sensitive information displayed on their screens with the help of a 3M Privacy Filter.

What better place to show someone how they can get some privacy in a public place than at the airport? 3M wanted to reach these business travelers to get the message purchase a privacy filter on the spot or request privacy filters from their organizations’ IT manager. To sweeten the deal, 3M partnered with CDW to provide a 20% discount on laptop privacy filters.

Photo of a 3M Privacy Airport Banner with the headline "Leave visual hackers at the Gate"

The airport takeover approach.

To get the word out, and make it stand out in a busy airport terminal, KC created an airport takeover campaign that splashed the campaign messaging all over, including multiple window clings, backlit signage, CNN tv spots, video ads, IP targeted programmatic ads, and even an installation in one concourse manned by a street team.

The middle seat will never be the same again.

Photo of a 3M Privacy Airport Display with the headline "Going to LGA? Make sure your private information doesn't go to SFO."

The program was such a success, that not only did 3M see a massive sales lift, but they have extended and expanded the campaign to other airports across the country.

Animated GIF of a 3M Privacy geofenced digital banner advertisement

Geofenced digital display ads appeared when business travelers entered targeted airports.

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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.

We worked with 3M to sponsor a video by comedian and prankster Jack Vale to highlight how quickly and easily visual hacking can occur.

Earlier this year KC partnered with 3M Display Materials and Systems Division to create a brand video and a cohesive content campaign to drive traffic to and increase sales of 3M™ Privacy Filters.

Through a combination of owned and third party content as well as engagement, KC created a unified look and message directed at C-Suite and IT audiences across all social media channels. Pictures and stat graphics illustrate the threat of visual hacking, and relevant hashtags such as #visualhacking and #privacymatters create organic conversations while driving the audience toward a 3M solution.

The brand video raises awareness of visual hacking in a fun, engaging way, and the social media response exceeded expectations. While the average click-through-rate (CTR) is .08%, our 15-second video had a CTR of 2.22% on Twitter. The videos garnered over a million impressions as a result of paid efforts, and the 60-second ad had an above average engagement rate of 23.29%.

See more work for 3M.

We first started working with 3M on privacy filters for computer and laptop screens. Since that first successful relationship, our work has expanded across multiple businesses through the entire company. Read more