White Hats Wanted

The U.S. Army needs people with elite hacking skills to join Army Cyber Command and help defend America against cyberattacks. We needed to find the few Americans who have those skills, and convince them to engage directly with U.S. Amry recruiters. White Hats Wanted did that by appealing directly to the desire of those in the hacking community to prove their prowess. We hid a message in our TV commercial that only hackers could read. Those who could, were challenged to visit a companion website and prove they could hack it in Cyber Command by hacking the site.

Within a few months, over 700,000 hackers decoded the message in the commpercial and attempted to complete the challenge online. The complexity of the challenge meant that many hackers failed. Though each failed attempt actually ignited further participation and buzz within the hacking community that the U.S. Army is serious about attracting elite talent. Of those who did prove good enough, 30% contacted U.S. Army Cyber Command directly—a conversion rate 15 times the Army’s average.

The campaign was fortunate to receive a 2017 Cannes Bronze Lion.