At least 60% of all cyber attacks target small-sized businesses, yet over half of them still don’t protect themselves.

Why? Some think, “it won’t happen to me.” For others, it’s too big and complicated of a project to wrap their heads around, and seemingly too expensive to even try.

For National Cyber Security Month, AT&T wanted to find an engaging and non-threatening way to speak to this important segment of their customer base, and invite them into their Business Circle online community.


Contest / Social Media / Website

We thought about who small business owners think of when it comes to the security of their business, and realized that many have a “guard dog” or “attack cat” who patrols the premises, or at least, naps with one eye open.

Listen to your guard pet

Tapping these “security experts” felt like a friendly way to bring up a non-friendly subject.

Social Posts

Every day during October’s Cyber Security Awareness Month, AT&T posted PSA-type messaging, helpful tips and eye-opening statistics, all on behalf of small business’s most loyal security guards. Care was taken to make the messaging quick, easy and actionable.

Landing Page

Interested customers could click through to the landing page to read more and dive deeper into Business Circle content.

Photo Contest

The campaign also included a photo contest benefiting K9s For Warriors, a nonprofit dedicated to pairing veterans with animal companions. Almost 1,000 business owners uploaded photos of their own guard pets for a chance to win cybersecurity packages and animal treats.

Internal Engagement

GuardPets also came to life on the campus of AT&T as an employee engagement event, with photo opportunities, giveaways, and even an offsite Yappy Hour for dog and cat lovers.


With nearly 6,000 mentions in social channels and 33,000 new incremental visits to the Business Circle community, this one-month effort got a lot of small business owners finally thinking and talking about cyber security. And we never got tired of looking at pet photos.