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WhatsApp utilizes hand-over-mouth gesture in football to show importance of privacy

WhatsApp has shaken up traditional approaches to privacy by embracing a novel form of ‘human encryption,’ which replaces passwords and biometric data with a hand-over-mouth gesture taken from everyday life.

‘Privacy Gesture,’ developed by Almap BBDO, transposes this overt symbol of surreptitious chat in a public place for the digital realm as a means of positioning the communications brand at the forefront of privacy innovation, promoting its commitment to private messaging through advertising and activations.

A common sight on the dugout where coaches will attempt to conceal barked instructions to their players through a strategically-positioned hand, the gesture benefits from an innate understanding as to its meaning and purpose.

In light of this WhatsApp will sponsor an actual gesture in a live media buy, with the Facebook-owned app promoting the importance of privacy every time a player employs the gesture. A half-time film will further cement the connection to watching fans.

To kick things off WhatsApp has convinced some of football’s biggest stars to replace their Instagram profile photos with an image of their hand over their mouth, illustrating the universal human need for privacy.

Almap BBDO creative director Pedro Corbett said: “Rather than just talking about WhatsApp privacy in a traditional way, we decided to sponsor a universal gesture that people make when they want private chats, even in football matches, which in Brazil is like religion.”

Taciana Lopes, head of marketing for WhatsApp in Brazil, added: “WhatsApp and soccer are part of the everyday lives and conversations of all Brazilians, so combining both things in this campaign was a perfect match. Leveraging a common gesture in the field to illustrate how privacy works in a simple and relatable way highlights our mission to connect the world privately.”

WhatsApp has previously touted its privacy credentials with Mission Impossible-style self-destructing messages.

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