The cybersecurity company’s in-house creative team and VFX studio Framestore use a not-so-metaphorical ‘Trojan horse’ to deliver a message to millions about the real and pervasive threat of cyberattacks.
Fans watching last Sunday’s historic Super Bowl Game got a reminder from cybersecurity leader CrowdStrike about the very real and pervasive threat of cyberattacks. The company brought its “Protection That Powers You” campaign to over 100 million viewers with the debut of its new commercial, Troy.
The commercial opens with a Trojan Horse waiting eagerly to storm the city of Troy. That is until a modern CrowdStrike expert (aka Charlotte) is called in to survey the risk, and detecting the ploy, quickly sends the horse rolling off a cliff, highlighting how the company pioneered adversary-focused cybersecurity to protect against the most sophisticated attacks and stop breaches.
The Monty Python-esque spot was produced in-house by the CrowStrike creative team and award-winning director Tarsem Singh of Radical Media, with Framestore’s New York-based VFX studio tasked with helping to bring the epic spot to life.
You can knock… but you can’t get in!
“Our commercial during the Big Game puts a modern lens on the story of the Trojan Horse, the most infamous breach in history that should have been stopped,” said CrowdStrike chief marketing officer, Jennifer Johnson. “Centuries later, our mission at CrowdStrike remains the same: to stop breaches. Behind every cyberattack is a human adversary, and we pioneered the adversary-focused approach to cybersecurity to protect every organization on the planet against the most sophisticated attacks. Cybersecurity is a must-have investment for every organization, and CrowdStrike stops breaches so our customers can power their businesses forward. The Big Game is an iconic stage and the perfect platform to share our brand promise of delivering ‘Protection that Powers You’ to the world.”
Shooting on location in a desert, the VFX team digitally created a shoreline and ocean that resembled the original city of Troy. Framestore Creative Director and VFX Supervisor Martin Lazaro and a drone team captured imagery of a desert shore as reference material for digital matte paintings used in post. The team then built an entire fleet of CG battleships to scatter across the ocean.
“It was an extraordinary experience to shoot on location,” said Lazaro, who shepherded CrowdStrike’s vision from pre-production to on-set photography through to post-production. “The immensity of the set and surroundings were the perfect place to begin building a giant battleground. The production design team did a fantastic job laying the foundation and combined with VFX magic, we were able to create this epic look.”
To achieve the final picture, the VFX team took in-camera shots and began with DMPs of the inner city, castle entrance, battle debris, and altered landscape, followed by sky replacements using Flame for a bright blue hue with light clouds to reflect a sizzling hot day.
Additional effects completed the illusion of Troy’s protective fortress, “ravaged by years of war.” Fire, smoke, and ground destruction were added to every shot. The team then leveraged the extensive DMP work, combining it with CG effects, and compositing in Nuke, to achieve the final result.
Union Editorial completed the final edit with color grade by colorist Jill Bogdanowicz of Company 3.