Carbonite Encourages Planning For Loss

MarriageIt is one of the sadder ironies that people generally decide they need backup services for their computers (and the information on them) only after a catastrophic data loss. Carbonite, a provider of such backup storage, aims to get out the message of pre-planning for storage backup via a new advertising campaign.

“People, by and large, place tremendous value on the information on their computers,” Tom Murray, senior vice president of marketing at Carbonite, tells Marketing Daily, “but so few are backing it up. There’s a disconnect between intent and what they actually do.”

In a minute-long commercial, a bride and groom on their wedding day are treated to ominous comments from strangers and loved ones that they’re going to “lose everything.” (Even the limo from the service features a sign, “Just Lost Everything.”) As the two nervously eye each other at the altar, a scruffy stranger bursts through the doors to tell them they’re about to lose all their computer-stored data. A voiceover explains that such warnings of imminent computer failure are rare.

Print ads in the campaign depict imagery such as an airport flight information board with the headline:“You arrive. Your laptop doesn’t;” a wedding cake frosted to read: “You will lose all of your wedding photos,” and coffee spilling out of a mug to read:“Your laptop will take a spill.” 

“We hear often, ‘If only I had known …’” Murray says. “The premise of the campaign is that we’re giving warnings, when, in fact, you’re not going to get warnings.”

Previously, Carbonite had been running more direct-response and testimonial-type advertising, featuring satisfied customers. The company is taking a different tack with these ads after coming to the conclusion that people were aware enough of the product and service to go a bit further, Murray says.

“We’re now past the point where we need to do information sharing, and now we need to engage consumers,” he says. “We found that a relatively straightforward approach wasn’t breaking through the way we needed it to.”

The television ads will be running on cable networks during daytime and prime-time programming. The print ads will be running extensively as well. There will also be a radio component that features commercials as well as endorsements from well-known radio personalities on their shows, Murray says.

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