Case Study

Building hype for an upcoming product with a looping booth video.

BlueCat Networks is a business to business software company specializing in enterprise network management and cybersecurity DNS solutions. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, BlueCat operates in 17 countries and serves over 1100 customers worldwide.

Creating a compelling narrative to sell a new product

The Problem

BlueCat was embarking on new territory as it expanded the capabilities of its core DNS services to take advantage of their position in network infrastructure, to detect and stop threats.

Due to the long sales cycle, the company wanted to begin promotion of the new product, DNS Security, several months in advance of the release, to create awareness and generate demand.



The Solution

BlueCat wanted to tell the story of how a “boring” service like DNS, that was often taken for granted, was in a unique position as the ‘first hop’ in a network could be used to detect and stop threats.

As part of the early promotion, BlueCat wanted to translate this story into an animated explainer video that would debut in their booth at RSA Conference. We had 4 weeks to complete the video.

My Role

I served a number of roles including Art Director, Animator and Video Producer and worked with a cross functional team including product marketing, product management and cyber security. Animations were built with Adobe Illustrator and After Effects. Audio was mixed with Audition.

The Approach

Before starting, I had the cybersecurity team walk me through how certain attacks (like DNS tunneling) worked, how they evaded detection by standard systems, and explain how these attacks could be detected with BlueCat’s product.

I took these learnings and explored ways to turn what is essentially scanning through data logs, into a visually compelling explanation of DNS Security.

DNS Security - Script

I started with a storyboard sketch after the final script was written.

Visual Exploration

We made a concerted effort to avoid overly stereotypical imagery such as Guy Fawkes masks, shadowy hooded figures, and “Matrix hacker types”.
DNS Security - Brainstorming Sketch

The visuals had to represent DNS as a foundational aspect of all things network; DNS adds protection across everything to make an organization’s network stronger and safer.

Dialing up the suspense with music

To create a sense of suspense, I selected ominous music to begin the video, with accompanying scary stats pulled from news headlines throughout the year..After the musical crescendo peaks, there is a moment of calm.

Uplifting music follows with a decided change of tone, explaining how BlueCat’s new DNS Security solution can provide visibility into what’s happening on the network – where other solutions fall short.

”I like this one best. The music contrast wakes you up and keeps you interested. It also helps you transition from ‘oh crap’ to ‘oh yeah’“

Final Output

The Outcome

The deadline was achieved and the video made its debut at the RSA Conference, Our instincts to avoid stereotypical imagery proved correct when we discovered every other booth had used imagery taken directly from the show Mr. Robot (which had recently become popular). The video was well received and generated early buzz and interest amongst prospects. It also proved to have an extended shelf life as three years later, the video continues to remain relevant and used for multiple purposes in explaining BlueCat’s DNS Security solution.