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    5 of the top data privacy & security ads of 2022, from Apple to WhatsApp

    Data privacy and security is top-of-mind not only for consumers and lawmakers, but for brands too. As part of The Drum’s Data & Privacy Deep Dive, we look back at five brands touting their privacy credentials in ads.

    With Google preparing to phase out third-party cookies, the UK abandoning the far-reaching General Data Protection Regulation and tech giants like Apple implementing new tools to enable users to manage how their personal information is used commercially, data privacy and security is a key priority in 2022. Consumers are more savvy about the kinds of data they share with organizations and what the trade-off is for them. 

    Amid rising privacy and security concerns, companies including Meta and Apple (which have each made headlines for their own data breaches) have tried to assure users about their data practices through ad campaigns this year.

    Below are five of the most widely-distributed examples.

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    WhatsApp: ‘Message Privately’ by Creative X


    In October, WhatsApp’s in-house creative team devised a plan to take the somewhat dry topic of data privacy and security features and make it exciting.

    Using a 3D billboard to tout updates such as end-to-end encryption and vanishing chats, the messaging service captivated the internet and garnered industry-wide praise for its creativity.

    At the time, Vivian Odior, global head of marketing at WhatsApp, told The Drum: “We want people to enjoy that story … These features are exciting, they’re very empowering and knowing that they’re there protecting you is super important. It was another way to have that conversation with our users.”

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    Apple: ‘Data Auction’ by TBWA


    A year on from announcing its AppTrackingTransparency (ATT), which give users the ability to choose what apps are allowed to collect their personal data from their devices, Apple doubled down on its privacy message with this ad detailing its features that can help keep users’ personal data safer.

    In the spoof spot, a young woman attends an auction where she watches her personal information being sold off to the highest bidders. Nothing is off limits, from her emails to her drug store purchases and phone contacts.

    At the time, an Apple spokesperson stated: “Over the past decade, a large and opaque industry has been amassing increasing amounts of personal data. A complex ecosystem of websites, apps, social media companies, data brokers and adtech firms track users online and offline, harvesting their personal data.

    “This data is pieced together, shared, aggregated and used in real-time auctions, fueling a $227bn a year industry. This occurs every day as people go about their daily lives, often without their knowledge or permission.”

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    DuckDuckGo ‘Watching You’ by DuckDuckGo


    Established in 2008, DuckDuckGo is a privacy-safe search engine that doesn’t allow user tracking via cookies or similar technologies. 

    In May of this year, the tech company took aim at rival Google with its debut TV ad, which featured a rejuvenated version of the hit 1980s tune Every Breath You Take by The Police.

    The ad opens with the recognizable bass chords and depicts a creepy man leering over people who are browsing the internet, watching everything they do. In a not-so-subtle dig, the protagonist is wearing a T-shirt that says ‘Google’ while he sings: “Every search you make, every click you take. Every move you make, every step you take, I’ll be watching you.”

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    Meta ‘Privacy Policy’ by Meta 

    Meta-owned products have long come under scrutiny over user privacy concerns and historic data breaches. In July, the Mark Zuckerberg-owned company hoped to reassure its users that it was taking these concerns on board.

    This animated spot detailed how the organization collects people’s information in order to provide a more ’meaningful’ experience. In conjunction with the release of its updated privacy policy, the short video explainer states that Meta is ”committed to helping you have the best experience possible across all our apps and products.”

    Google ‘Safer with Google’ by Essence


    Soundtracked by Etta James song Security, this Google ad from a couple months ago shines the spotlight on consumer demand for safer browsing. In the spot, viewers see a security check-up happening with an email account. With one issue being highlighted, the search engine asks the user to change their password. In the following scenes, there’s a scam email doing the rounds and even a hacking attempt, all of which Google can help to avert with various measures. 

    The ad campaign ends with the straightforward tagline: ’Safer with Google.’

     

    For more on how the world of data-driven advertising and marketing is evolving, check out our latest Deep Dive.

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