Thursday, February 23, 2012

Will Fear Motivate You to Back-up Your Computer Files?

A 2010 global survey found that 89% of home PC users do not perform regular backups, and 67% have lost digital pictures.  (Global Data Backup Survey Results, 2010)

Yet to quote Tom Murray, SVP of Marketing at Carbonite, the company’s advertising efforts to convince potential customers to use them for storage backup, which featured testimonials from satisfied customers, “wasn’t breaking through the way we needed it to.” (Baar, 2012)

So, they’re changing strategies and focusing on consumers’ fears of losing pictures.  It sounds like a good idea considering the 2010 survey also said that 69% of home PC users are most worried about losing their digital pictures.

What do you think?  Are you backing up your photos?  If not, will you after seeing this commercial?

(2010, June 25)  Global Data Backup Survey Results. Retrieved February 22, 1012, from

Baar, A. (2012, February 21) Carbonite Encourages Planning For Loss. Retrieved February 22, 1012, from


  1. I do share the same sentiment with regards to the fear of losing my personal photos and files and I do think that changing the company's strategy is a good idea since if they say that their original efforts are not working out.

    I think this is a good product but the commercial is not connecting to me as it should. It's too focused on the pun between losing your freedom once you get married and losing your files personal files which you would find out only in the end. Because of that I feel it lacked giving me information about the product and how the product works.

    I just think this commercial is not the best way to carry that message. Yes wedding photos (personal photos and files) are important too but it could have been better if the commercial is about losing something for work. Then at least more people could relate to it since a lot of people give a lot of importance on their jobs especially with the economy today.

    Igie Soriano

  2. I think loosing something that you can never get back is one of the worst things that can happen to a person, especially when it involves hard work or memories. This is way I think fear is motivating us to back up our files.
    When people are worried about something, giving them something else to prevent this of happening, if they can, they are always going to get it.

    The wedding pictures is a perfect example of something you could never get back if you loose it, I liked the commercial very much because I think it fulfills its goal of worrying the consumer of loosing their files.
    After watching the commercial, I think more people will start backing up their files.
    The only thing I would include in the commercial is something about preventing instead of reacting, because once you loose your files there is nothing you can do.

  3. I agree that if the marketing efforts were not bringing good results to the company, the company should change their strategy.Fear is a very powerful way to direct their marketing strategies. Advertisements appealing to a specific fears tend to be very effective. Sometimes companies show a situation which you don't want to have in the future which makes you develop a fear for a future experience that hasn't even happened. They tend to activate the fear and amplify it to get to our subconscious.
    Even though it seems like Carbonite was trying to appeal to the fear of loosing documents in the computer, i don't think that the advertisement sends the correct message. It could be interpreted in many different ways, but there is not a direct and clear relation between the advertisement and the product they are selling. It didn't make me want to backup my photos at all. It appealed more to the fear of getting married than the fear of losing my photos LOL!

  4. I have never really put too much attention on the backups solutions, and to be honest, never backup my computers in the past. I think it’s because I’m a very trusted person and I believe in the good in everyone.
    But!- that has now changed.

    The commercial did not change my opinion, the links on the data result did!

    The commercial is to unreal for me. You will not lose everything during and after a marriage, you will still have the sweet memories in your mind, on your finger and in a photo album.

    The sign on the car, the grandmother, the men’s “talk” in the restroom and the little bridesmaid is to over analyzed and not to start on the party crasher in the end of the commercial, which most look like a drunk poor guy.

    The commercial should instead show after the real happening such like losing the files and digital images- and the feeling of the exposed.

    Actually it is only the last 11sec of the 1.02minut long commercial, where you get the object and understanding.

    -Mathilde Ring

  5. The data clearly exhibits that there is a strong sense of apathy from PC users globally in terms of securing their data and information. We can all probably name a number of people we know that do not back up their computers regularly, if at all. Using fear to motivate consumers is a good strategy in some cases, however I think this add is too far removed from the everyday consumer. It is hard to associate the perils of not backing up your data with marriage. Yes, it is unthinkable of losing your wedding pictures, or any other important event in your life for that matter, but it probably does not resonate with everyone on an individual level. The second issue I see is with the company itself. As consumers, we are not fully integrated with cloud based technology so it is difficult to (1) get users to back up their data and now (2) get them to use a virtual space. Perhaps the company should show how seamless and albeit cool it is to use this virtual space. Apple does a great job of making all things technology cool. Unfortunately, the more successful candidate will be Apple and Microsoft who can appeal to their end user by creating a seamless scheduled back up on their computer, hard drive, or in the cloud. I think the message, as previously stated, should show easy it is to back up your information now and the ways in which you can do it. The data shows that we are not there as end users so trying to instill this sense of fear in something people clearly do not understand seems almost like a lost cause until we can better communicate with the end user.

    I am an avid Mac user and through their cloud and time machine software I have scheduled back-ups and all sorts of migration happening. At my job, I often use fear to get our users to back up data but I provide strategies and techniques to back up the data so for the user it requires little to no effort. The vast majority of users are clearly not backing up their information so we need to get the root of why they are not doing it.

  6. I agree that most individuals, especially Mac users, are afraid of losing their photographs. In fact, since people mainly use their personal computers for internet and photo storage, the data makes rational sense.

    I think more interesting however is the fact that these are PC people. Of course PCs crash and frankly, for personal use, a Mac is so much better. Even so, I sporadically back up my Mac. I got a message the other day saying that it had been 543 days since my last back up.

    This commercial however, did not make me think about backing up my computer, or as you would say “make me want to buy” their service. Sure backing up online seems faster than dragging out my small external hard drive, however who’s to say that online company won’t lose my photos too, when their computers crash?

    I won’t hesitate to say that the commercial was absolutely horrible – it reached a small demographic of people trying to get married or most recently married. The objective was lost in the details – for all I know, it could have been a commercial about a divorce service. Overall, the backup service industry is tough to crack. Most companies that need backing up have this already built into their servers.

    Personal individuals, for instance photographers, already back up to external drives and likely an online service, because their livelihood depends upon it. Everyone else is not interested in a monthly fee to make this happen. For two months of this service, you could buy an external hard drive and then back up every two years, like me!

  7. I agree with the comments that it is too much about marriage and not enough about backing up data.

    For me, the obstacle to backing up data is pure laziness and not knowing how to hook it up. The ideal situation would be for someone to come to my house and hook it up for me, for free. That said, perhaps a better direction would be start with fear... to hook the viewer but quickly go into how easy their product is to install, perhaps show a baby doing it, or a monkey... that sort of thing.