Hi-Tech Campaign of the Year 2005

Honors the best hi-tech campaign in a category open to both business-to-business and consumer-oriented practice areas.

OutCast Communications and Fortify Software: Fortifying your software

The security technology market, one of the few tech sectors that hasn't struggled in recent years, can be hard to impress. And for start-ups, the bar is set even higher. Fortify Software, a newcomer to this crowded market segment, sought to find a solution to the growing epidemic of viruses and worms attacking computer applications, wanting to present a fresh approach beyond firewalls and patches.

But the company had no brand equity, and no large competitors to point to. So Fortify hired OutCast Communications to introduce a new security philosophy, not just another product, to a market already saturated with solutions. OutCast targeted business and trade media with the message that while most security solutions stop attacks before they can do much damage, most fail to battle the problem at its source.

Customer testimonials were key to the campaign's success. OutCast got customers, including PayPal, on board early to leverage their brand equity. The agency used respected voices in the security tech space to lend credibility to Fortify's nascent brand, and secured the backing of industry analysts prior to a media tour. OutCast also aligned the company's messaging beyond standard security issues to include e-voting and outsourcing, broadening the appeal of the company's message.

The agency secured an exclusive feature story with The Wall Street Journal, providing access to company founders and industry veterans Ted Schlein and Bill Joy. OutCast also managed to get access for business reporters to speak with normally media-shy PayPal, over the initial objections of that company's PR department.

The campaign generated 44 articles, including 21 features, a sizable feat considering Fortify's start-up status. Those articles appeared in Forbes, The San Jose Mercury News, Computerworld, and eWeek, among others, and helped to introduce the company as a serious player in the security market with the backing of industry leaders.

Since the launch, the media has used Fortify executives as experts on software and security, helping to increase customer leads and interest within the investment community.

?This campaign's strength was its simplicity,? said one judge. ?It put a start-up well and truly on the map with very little financial muscle. Instead of dollars, OutCast used the assets of the business, such as the investors, to give the company credibility and really get the message across in an effective manner.?

?This was a strong program, especially in making the dollars work for maximum impact,? said another judge. ?I particularly liked their use of third parties.?

Honorable Mention
Bite Communications and Open Source Risk Management: Maverick start-up rises to defend multibillion-dollar industry

Open-source software is one of the biggest challengers to the Microsoft empire, but the potential legal bills for patent infringement lawsuits targeting users have threatened to derail it. Open Source Risk Management (OSRM) stepped up to protect the open-source community by providing the legal infrastructure it needed. The start-up worked with Bite Communications to build a credible public profile, generate capital and customers, and win the hearts and minds of open-source users. Its strategy was to attach the concept of technology insurance to the larger story of the legal battle that could decide the fate of a multibillion-dollar industry. The campaign succeeded in generating prominent media coverage, high-profile speaking engagements for CEO Daniel Egger, and support from public policy organizations. It also generated customer leads and established OSRM as a credible industry expert.

Finalists 2005
Bite Communications and Open Source Risk Management: Maverick start-up rises to defend multibillion-dollar industry

Fleishman-Hillard and SBC Communications: SBC Yahoo DSL hometown tour

OutCast Communications and Fortify Software: Fortifying your software

Ruder Finn and Ambient Devices: Ambient Devices makes information glanceable

Waggener Edstrom and Advanced Micro Devices: AMD challenges the competition on its own turf

Sponsored by Text 100
Text 100 is a global PR agency serving companies that use technology for competitive advantage. With award-winning practices covering all public relations disciplines, Text 100 represents leading brands in 25 offices around the world. Clients of the company include Cisco, Fujifilm, IBM, Symbian, and Xerox. For more information about Text 100, please visit www.text100.com.

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