Govt packs a punch with GCHQ ‘Cyber aware’ campaign

Campaign was created by M&C Saatchi London.

Govt packs a punch with GCHQ ‘Cyber aware’ campaign

National Cyber Security Centre, part of Government Communications Headquarters, has worked with M&C Saatchi London to create a campaign helping people to stay safe online.

“Cyber aware” will run across radio, online, and out-of-home with nearly 2,000 billboards. There will also be activity through digital, social, web and online advertising with media planning handled by Bountiful Cow and media buying by OmniGov.

The film – directed by Luc Schurgers with the help of creatives ​​Søren Birk and Jonathan Durgan – shows a boxer waiting to fight his opponent, who symbolises a cyber criminal.

When the protagonist suggests people use two-step verification to make their emails more secure, he grows another pair of arms clad in boxing gloves and says: "It's like having twice the protection".

The bizarre and humorous scenario was a technique to grab the attention of the viewer and make a serious subject matter more memorable.

According to the government, people are more vulnerable than ever using digital devices and the campaign stems from a statistic that last year saw a 161% increase in unauthorised access to personal information offences, including hacking. 

“Cyber aware” aims to raise awareness of the measures digital users can take to ensure their emails are as secure as possible.

Advice includes using passwords made up of three random words and enabling two-step verification, where a code is texted to the account holder’s phone.

“Our main email account is the gateway to much of our personal information, from work to our interests and even finances. That’s why it’s so important to make sure it is protected,” Nicola Hudson, director of policy and communications at National Cyber Security Centre, said. 

“By choosing a separate password, made from three random words, and enabling two-step verification on your account, individuals can dramatically reduce their risk of falling victim to financial losses and the impact of personal data breaches.

“Our new 'Cyber aware' campaign is aimed at helping everyone boost their online security and I strongly encourage people to follow our advice to make life even harder for cyber criminals.”

Guy Bradbury, creative partner at M&C Saatchi London, added: “Updating our cyber security is not always top of our priority list, and it’s something many of us rarely remember to do, so our job was to create a campaign which made the message impossible to forget.

“To achieve that, we have created a 'Cyber aware' world that is visually distinctive, full of gentle humour, and all with the important clear calls to action on what we need to do to better protect ourselves.”