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The Wolf: Episode

Industry: Electronics & Audio-Visual
Market:United States
Style: Minimalism

HP asked us to shed light on a major cybersecurity threat within businesses and institutions; office printers. Though cybersecurity is a top priority for businesses, many overlook office printers, an easy entry-point for malicious attacks giving hackers access to the entire secure network. The brief was to help grow HP’s B2B business by targeting IT pros who simply weren’t aware of the serious implications of printer security. From a communications perspective, the subject is quite dry, making effective marketing a challenge.The objective of “The Wolf” was to build awareness around the security threat of unsecured printers in a way that would compellingly validate the issue. Targeting Chief Information Security Officers, IT professionals, and business decision makers, we set out to create premium entertaining social videos that dramatized the dangers of real-life vulnerabilities via printing hardware and led to HP’s Print Security solutions.

We enlisted award-winning actor Christian Slater to star in “The Wolf,” a dramatic digital series showing how a major company can be brought down through unsecured printers. Slater was chosen for his following among IT professionals from his role in “Mr. Robot,” a cybersecurity-themed TV program awarded for its realistic portrayal of global cybersecurity issues. In “The Wolf,” Slater systematically hacks a financial company through overlooked print security vulnerabilities, from the mailroom to the boardroom. Everyday office happenings turn ominous as Slater exploits unsuspecting victims at every level who give him access to the company’s networks through unsecured printers. The story culminates with Slater metaphorically and literally releasing the company’s secrets to the entire world. Why? “Because he can.” These stories bring printer security vulnerabilities to the forefront with IT decision makers and the larger business community, shining a light on HP’s Print Security solutions.

“The Wolf” generated unprecedented awareness, 45,000 hours of video consumption in the first two weeks on YouTube and over 12.5 million views in the first two months. The initiative had 118 million earned PR impressions and received 66 editorial placements worldwide.Andy Slawetsky of research lab Industry Analysts said, “It's the first thing I've EVER seen that really shows what a potential threat this is. WELL DONE!” The IT community confirmed the validity of the featured hacks on Reddit and in YouTube comments as the campaign garnered earned coverage in VentureBeat, Fast Company, Gizmodo, CNET, Adage, and PC Magazine. On LinkedIn, “The Wolf” nearly doubled the platform’s benchmark .3% engagement rate rate at .6%—a crucial channel for the IT security community. On the IT website Spiceworks, “The Wolf" resulted in a 85% view rate, shattering its 54% benchmark.The campaign has led to dozens of major sales opportunities for HP.

Based on IT conversations we were seeing online, it was clear this audience loves entertaining content that portrays IT authentically.Many pieces came together within a short timeline. Hollywood screenwriters, copywriters, and HP security experts collaborated on the script, ensuring an entertaining and realistic series. Christian Slater was identified and signed for his IT community following. Real malware code was written.A movie trailer promoted the film on major social channels. Four 90-second episodes built on each other and stood alone. They were retargeted sequentially so that viewers could watch each episode straight from their social feeds. Films lived on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, IT endemic sites, and a customized interactive branded micro-site. Paid media promoted the films and episodes globally, including paid social, partnerships with leading IT security news sites, social posts from Christian Slater, and a massive PR push including a custom movie poster and behind the scenes content.

Research included surveys of 400 IT professionals, revealing that decision-makers placed security as their top priority on the job. One IT pro put it this way: “If you have a security breach on your watch, it kills your reputation in this industry. That’s your job!” However, the research also revealed that while most IT pros are aware that printers are a potential security concern, they were sorely underestimating the printer security threat. As one IT manager explained: "[IT Pros] think hacking a printer just means a hacker can print to it, not that you could steal data or even stage a major attack on an organization starting from a network-connected printer." This led us to the strategy of showcasing the seriousness of printer security by illustrating the many ways a printer could be compromised and the potentially catastrophic effects that could cripple companies large and small.
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Art Director:
Production Company:
Director of Photography:
Other credit:Entrant Company: GIANT SPOON, Los Angeles, USA
Advertising Agency: GIANT SPOON, Los Angeles, USA
PR Agency: HP, Palo Alto, USA
Chief Marketing Officer, Antonio Lucio, HP
Global Head of Marketing - Imaging and Printing, Vikrant Batra, HP
Co-founder, Jon Haber, Giant Spoon
Associate Director, Strategy, Albert Kugel, Giant Spoon
VP, Brand Management, Pierre Parisot, Giant Spoon
Head of WW Marketing Printing Solutions, Darren Needham-Walker, HP
WW Services & Solutions Marketing Director, Todd Gregory, HP
WW Print Security Marketing Lead, Cindy Dwyer, HP
Business Affairs, Catherine Huang, Giant Spoon
Business Affairs, Catherine Huang, Giant Spoon
Executive Producer, Jackie Kelman Bisbee, Park Pictures
Executive Producer, Scott Howard, Park Pictures
Executive Producer, Carol Lynn Weaver, Exile
Executive Producer, Patrick Nugent, A52
VFX Supervisor, Patrick Murphy, A52
Executive Producer, Melissa Elston, Eleven Sound
Mixer, Jeff Payne, Eleven Sound
Colorist, Mark Gethin, MPC
Music Artist, Q Department, Q Department
Global Head of Marketing - Personal Systems, Alex Craddock, HP
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2017
Bronze Cyber
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