ESET Takes Fear Factor Out of Computing

BtoB Case Study: Cybersecurity Firm Makes Tech Fun With 'Shark Summer,' 'Internet Heroes'

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In an industry dominated by fear, cybersecurity company ESET wants to put the focus back on the fun and exciting things people can do with technology.

"In our space, the fear factor takes center stage too often" said Darren Stordahl, VP-marketing at ESET, referring to recent data breaches at Target and Home Depot, as well as the constant threat of malicious viruses and computer hackers targeting corporate and personal computers.

ESET competes with larger security software companies such as McAfee and Symantec and provides security solutions to more than 100 million users worldwide, including consumers, small businesses and enterprise customers.

"A lot of companies have focused on security and taken a fear-based approach in their marketing," Mr. Stordahl said. "We wanted to launch an initiative that was more positive and helps people manage their investment in time and technology, without being afraid."

Earlier this year, ESET launched a rebranding campaign called "Go Explore," which includes a content-rich website, print and online ads, social media and events. The website was created by Mediablaze, London, and the ad campaign was developed by BBDO Stockholm.

For the website, ESET curates content from around the web on topics ranging from hot new gadgets (think flying speakers) and cool apps to how-to advice -- such as seven "insanely useful" Google Maps tricks. It also has a section called "Internet Heroes," featuring stories of people who use technology in innovative ways.

"We want to connect with people who run businesses and help them do more with the technology they have -- to be confident in technology through exploration and going to the frontier," Mr. Stordahl said.

As part of its "Go Explore" campaign, ESET partnered with the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego to support its Shark Summer program, which featured education and activities around sharks.

"The Birch Aquarium represented for us almost a literal metaphor of 'Go Explore,'" Mr. Stordahl said. "The seas are one of the last frontiers, and the use of technology to track and monitor sharks is innovative and new. The people there are enjoying technology because they're confident of its use, they are going to the edge and are interacting in the environment in ways that are new."

Through its partnership with the Birch Aquarium, ESET helped support the research of Andy Nosal, a marine biologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This summer, ESET sponsored shark education activities, such as bringing guests along to tag and release sharks, as well as interactive exhibits at the aquarium and social media contests.

"It was a fun way to get away from the fear of hackers attacking your back-office data and focus on what can we do with technology rather than just protect it," Mr. Stordahl said.

Content from Shark Summer was featured on the Go Explore website.

So far, ESET is having success driving users to and engaging with the website. Since its launch in April, the website is averaging 100,000 unique monthly users, who stay for an average of five minutes.

ESET also provides content syndication through Publicis Groupe's MSLGroup, syndicating content from the campaign site across business and technology trade publications. So far, the content syndication program has driven more than 65,000 clicks to the site.

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