Honeypot Billboards: Hiscox uses live cyber hacks in latest ad campaign

In a media first, specialist insurer Hiscox is using real-time cyber attacks in the creative for its latest advertising campaign – CyberLive. This is part of a broader drive across the business to cement its position as a leader in the cyber risk marketplace and to raise awareness of the threat that cyber-crime poses to small businesses.

Three ‘honeypot’ servers (the type of servers typically used by a small business) were set-up specifically for the campaign and the data from them feeds into live digital posters at prominent stations and roadside sites across the country. Each time a cyber attack occurs, it triggers a pulsing red light on the poster, which gradually builds as further attacks occur and resets every 24 hours. The more attacks there are to the servers, the more the poster headline visually reacts.

Based on initial trials, the number of attempted attacks (and pulsing dots) each day is averaging 23,000 so over the course of the campaign the proxy servers are expected to be the target of circa 148,000 attempted attacks. The maximum number of attacks detected since 11th January when the servers went live, is 61,805 in one 24 hour period.

Hiscox is a leading provider of cyber insurance to businesses in the UK and is campaigning to shift perceptions that SMEs are unlikely targets for cyber criminals due to their size. Last year, the insurer appointed ex-GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan as a special advisor on cyber security and in December it announced the launch of its 70-strong cyber global ‘virtual business unit’. Just last week, Hiscox also released the findings from its most recent Cyber Readiness study.

Olivia Hendrick, Head of Marketing and Partnerships at Hiscox UK & Ireland commented: “Hiscox CyberLive is about making small businesses more aware of the very real threat that cyber crime poses and challenging the belief that cyber criminals only target larger organisations. We were genuinely astounded by the number of attacks, especially up to 60,000 in one day, and hope this disruptive campaign serves as a reminder to all of the importance of cyber security.”

The CyberLive campaign also includes escalator panels at stations in London all aimed at dramatising the alarming frequency of cyber incidents in the UK. Last year alone, one in four (26%) small businesses fell victim to at least one cyber attack.

Hiscox partnered with advertising agency AMV BBDO, media agency Goodstuff, and out-of-home specialists Talon and Grand Visual to create this campaign. It will run from 19th February across out-of-home sites, from Canary Wharf and Euston station to key roadside locations in Glasgow.

Roy Shepherd, Head of Out-of-Home at Goodstuff said ‘We made full use of the dynamic capabilities of Digital Out-of-Home, representing real-time cyber attacks on our purpose built server in a way never before attempted. It’s a showcase of what can be achieved when we push the boundaries of inventiveness.’

AMV’s Creative Directors, Clark Edwards and Andre Hull said ‘We live in a technologically connected world. And for all the benefits it brings us, it also provides cyber criminals with new opportunities to exploit us – in both the home and in business. Our new campaign highlights the dangers of our new connected world and reinforces that we all need to be vigilant, Hiscox’s wealth of experience in cyber security can help businesses stay one step ahead of the cyber criminals.’

“Clever use of data and technology means this digital OOH campaign delivers a hard-hitting message and a compelling call to action for Hiscox Small Business Insurance,” said Dan Dawson, Chief Creative Technology Officer, Grand Visual. “The threat is real, the proof is here, and the figures speak for themselves.”

“This campaign showcases the real potential of digital OOH and how for the right client you can steer the message using real time context and data to match a real issue to the Hiscox brand strategy,” said James Brunton, Client Director at Talon.








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