Partners: CrowdStrike’s Wild West Super Bowl Ad Is Brilliant
CrowdStrike makes cybersecurity ‘relatable’ in the 30-second commercial, slated to be seen by more than 100 million people on Sunday, executives at top solution providers tell CRN.
CrowdStrike’s commercial scheduled to air Sunday during Super Bowl LVIII is getting high marks from solution provider partners, who told CRN the ad depicting a futuristic Wild West is a win for both brand visibility and cybersecurity awareness.
The commercial, which CrowdStrike posted ahead of the 2024 Super Bowl, packs real insights about cybersecurity along with a peppering of cameos and insider references into 30 seconds, solution provider executives said.
“The most compelling thing for me is, in 30 seconds, they could describe what they do,” said Kapil Bansal, senior vice president for partner management and solutions at SHI, No. 14 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500.
“It was incredibly impressive that they were able to dumb it down, make it relatable and put it into a format that the layperson could understand — and just make it fun,” Bansal said.
The ad, dubbed “The Future,” is set in a Wild West frontier town — though the vibe is less John Wayne and more “Westworld.” Without giving too much of a spoiler, the ad depicts a common hack scenario (though one that's distinct from the situation in CrowdStrike’s “Troy” ad from Super Bowl 2023).
This time around, there’s an attempted attack on a frontier town by hacker-bandits (on horseback, naturally). Next, we see the town sheriff, playing the burnt-out CISO, give a weary response.
That’s when Charlotte, CrowdStrike’s GenAI-powered security assistant, steps in to run the bandits out of town. All in all, the commercial succeeds at giving the general public “a better view of what we in cyber deal with constantly,” according to Optiv’s Alan Mayer.
With the ad, “CrowdStrike is doing a nice job of making cybersecurity relatable to all audiences,” said Mayer, senior vice president of partners, alliances and solutions at Optiv, No. 24 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500. “It is really making cybersecurity consumable for a mainstream audience.”
GuidePoint Security’s Mark Thornberry agreed, and applauded CrowdStrike for what he called an “incredibly well done” commercial that will ultimately help drive demand for partners.
“It’s just showing their commitment to hitting a really broad audience. And obviously, that's going to benefit all of our collective businesses,” said Thornberry, senior vice president for vendor management at GuidePoint, No. 52 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500.
Ultimately, with more than 100 million people likely see the commercial on Sunday, “being able to make the message much more mainstream will be incredibly valuable,” said SHI’s Bansal.
“I’ve never seen an ad like this, where a security company has been able to dumb down the message enough to tell a compelling story,” he said.
Meanwhile, for insiders, CrowdStrike included a number of cameos and Easter eggs (Spoiler alert: Keep an eye out for CEO George Kurtz and President Michael Sentonas.)
Among other references, the hacker-bandits are all stylized versions of real threat actors (CrowdStrike, as you may be aware, is well-known for producing these sorts of depictions).
And of course, the heroine of the story, Charlotte, will be familiar to CrowdStrike partners and customers. Charlotte has been a fixture lately in CrowdStrike marketing and events, including in last year’s “Troy” Super Bowl ad, as well as the company’s “This or That” campaign from last November and at its Fal.con conference in September (where the Charlotte AI technology was a major focus and the character made a number of appearances).
Overall, CrowdStrike’s ad also resonates at a time when it’s clear “AI is the digital frontier,” Optiv’s Mayer said. “And for really protecting against the threats of tomorrow, the best technology is required to do that.”