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WhatsApp pulls back the curtain on encryption in OOH campaign

In an eye-boggling move, WhatsApp has taken over Piccadilly Lights, one of the world’s most sought-after OOH real estates, touting the app’s new privacy features.

The 3D technology gave life to WhatsApp’s campaign. It showed the evolving façade of a building native to Piccadilly Circus, with people across different floors shutting their windows and the building symbolically disappearing into dust. The building is then replaced with a vacant space encased by steel shutters, with a WhatsApp voice note then being locked into a comically large steel safe. With no room for false interpretation, WhatsApp is implying your messages are safely encrypted.

The ‘Message privately with layers of protection’ mantra is at the core of WhatsApp’s campaign. This OOH display marks the final phase of the campaign, which has already made its mark on Twitch with a privacy-focussed minigame, as well as in-game advertising in Roblox.

@mattnavarra WhatsApp’s wild new ad in London 😮 #whatsapp #london #advertising #digitalmarketing #picadillycircus ♬ Blade Runner 2049 – Synthwave Goose

WhatsApp’s upped security game includes a two-step verification pin that helps prevent intruders, end-to-end encryption across messages and backups, and disappearing messages. The never-shy-of-controversy Meta-owned app has always had a lot to answer for from the public, and one Twitter user noted: “Uncool companies need cool advertisements. This is certainly a cool ad!”.

It’s not hard to spot WhatsApp’s pointed play towards curbing its audiences’ fear surrounding privacy; time will tell if an impressive OOH display can help their provocative reputation ‘disappear’.

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