Marketers Gone Wild: 20 Examples Of Weird, Wacky Signage From RSA 2015

Sign Of The Times

The RSA security conference, held this week in San Francisco, is always a kind of Super Bowl for marketing people. This year, with a booming economy and industry fueling spending, vendors at RSA put on an unforgettable show that included some of the weirdest, wackiest marketing signage you'll ever see.

The RSA conference has grown so large that two expo halls are now required to house all of the vendors taking part. CRN walked every aisle of both gigantic show floors and presents here 20 examples of marketing signage that we think stood out the most.

Microsoft Flexes Cloud Muscles

Microsoft, which revealed this week that its commercial cloud business is on a $6.3 billion annualized run rate, came to win at this year's RSA show. The Microsoft cloud may stand up to any storm, but Azure has had its share of minor outages as of late.

That said, Microsoft is now the clear No. 2 player in the cloud and it feels pretty good about its position versus Amazon Web Services. The Microsoft cloud boasts SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, and the software giant sees that diverse set of offerings as a competitive advantage over AWS and others.

From Inside The Cloud

Microsoft started working on Azure in 2006 and runs massive-scale services like Office 365 and Bing. Over the years, Microsoft has gained lots of knowledge about running cloud services, and at RSA, the software giant held sessions at its booth, where it gave folks a glimpse into how it all works. This behind-the-scenes insight was apparently in high demand, judging from the consistently packed Microsoft booth.

Sharing The Knowledge

Here, RSA attendees listen with rapt attention to Microsoft people talking about what it's like to run one of the world's largest cloud businesses. The short answer: It's not easy, but Microsoft has been doing this for long enough to feel confident in its ability to continually improve the operation and performance of its cloud services portfolio.

Security Is An Intense Business

IT security is no joking matter: You need to stay laser-focused on the task at hand, whether it's keeping your networks safe from attackers or making sure employees don't do unwise things. Here, at the RSA Security booth, we see the intensity of focus that comes with this line of work.

Sophos Nails It

Security vendor Sophos went big this year at RSA, plastering marketing signage all over the conference venue, and even extending its brand reach into the San Francisco subway system. Here, Sophos borrows from one of the most hackneyed sayings ever, then adds a security twist at the end. Well-played, Sophos, well-played.

Lots Of Small Fish Can Eat Big Fish

Security vendor Webroot touted its "collective threat intelligence" technology, which secures data from customer endpoints all over the world, as akin to a school of small fish teaming up to go after a big shark. It was an interesting visualization and one of the more striking examples of signage from the RSA conference.

Veracode's Monster

Veracode's "monster" is really an application security technology that continually gathers threat data and uses it to protect customers from falling victim to bad guys. This is one monster that's always eating, but that's OK, because gathering threat intelligence is a full-time job.

Taking The Monster Analogy Even Further

Veracode spun the monster analogy in different ways. Not only does the monster have "razor-sharp analytical teeth" to gobble up application threats, it also has arms like drills that relentlessly dig into Web, mobile and third-party apps to find threats. OK, that's enough stretching for that analogy.

Alien Vault Pays Visit To RSA

AlienVault, a security vendor that sells threat-monitoring and -management software to midmarket companies, made a big splash at RSA with its "Star Wars"-themed booth, which also featured a flying saucer hanging overhead. Tying movie analogies into IT security brings with it a high risk of sounding cheesy, but AlienVault's marketers, to their credit, pulled it off with skill and panache.

AlienVault's Star Bar

In case anyone didn't think AlienVault was serious about its "Star Wars" theme, the vendor even set up a bar in its booth where RSA attendees could stop in for a drink. The bar is pictured here during a rare moment of downtime. Most of the event, it looked like the bar scene from the original movie.

'At WatchGuard, We Don't Find Hackers Scary ... '

Security vendor WatchGuard wants you to know it's not afraid of hackers. Its threat protection is like a lion that's waiting to devour anyone and anything in its path, as can be seen in this cool digital signage. This was easily one of the more impressive bits of signage from the RSA conference.

Want To Be A Cyber Warrior?

Security vendor Tripwire ran a contest at RSA where attendees could choose their favorite from a collection of cartoon "cyber warriors," with winners getting a T-shirt printed with their choice. You could even sign up right at Tripwire's RSA booth, as many people were doing when CRN passed by.

Alert Logic Never Stops

Security vendor Alert Logic was one of many vendors at RSA letting people know that assuring security and gathering threat intelligence is a never-ending pursuit. It's a simple message, but a true one, as attackers are always looking for new, creative ways of getting valuable data.

Risky Business

You may not have heard much about Wombat Security, which is based in that hotbed of IT security known as Pittsburgh, Pa., but the vendor's T-shirts were certainly in high demand at its RSA booth.

Wombat was founded in 2008 by three researchers from Carnegie Mellon University who came up with a unique way to fight phishing. Now, the vendor has customers all over the world in both the private sector and the public sector, some of whom might be wearing this T-shirt when they return to work next week.

The ZeroFox Fox

ZeroFox, a security vendor that focuses on helping companies mitigate risks associated with their employees' social media usage, had this cool little stuffed fox watching over its booth for the entirety of the RSA conference.

More From AlienVault

AlienVault, like we said earlier, really embraced the "Star Wars" theme, giving away T-shirts at its booth with Darth Vader scolding people for not paying enough attention to securing valuable assets.

A Break From The Madness

RSA's two expo halls were both bustling hives of activity, so it was nice to have a respite from the fray, courtesy of ThreatTrack Security. Many RSA attendees were seen kicking back and giving their sore feet a break.

The New Question You Need To Ask Yourself

Security threats have changed a lot over the years and attackers are now really good at hiding after they've breached your network. Security vendor Imperva says its technology can protect critical data even if such a scenario unfolds for its customers.

Protection Is Here

Not all signage at RSA hit the mark, however. Here, a vendor tells attendees they needn't give up and accept that attackers will break into their networks. Prevention is available, the vendor says here, without elaborating.

Managing Encrypted Traffic Is Like Wearing Sunglasses

Security is a hard thing to illustrate sometimes, but vendors at RSA gave it their best shot. Here, we see that managing encrypted traffic is kind of like wearing sunglasses that give you special visionary powers. Or something like that. And they also protect the Web and stop advanced threats.