In an effort to update its conservative image, Caterpillar launched Built For It, a campaign that showcases the capabilities and heavy-duty makeup of the manufacturer’s equipment. The first video in the series shows the machines in a game of Jenga.
“We wanted to bring a fun, friendly, more human approach to the brand and who we really are globally,” says Archie Lyons, creative director for Caterpillar. “Our vision is for everyone to see us as a well-grounded company that is in touch with our markets and the communities where we live and work globally.”
A team of Caterpillar staffers across multiple departments, including its brand team, agency, and demonstrator operators, brought their heads together to come up with ways to combat and counter the company’s perceived stodginess.
“We challenged them to discuss items they would love to do with the machines when no one is looking, with features that customers love to see,” he says.
The group came up with a game that resembles the popular parlor game in which blocks of wood are stacked and arranged, with competitors trying to pile their pieces as high as possible without toppling the tower. Caterpillar Stack, however, is played with a twist, and on a much, much larger scale.
In the viral YouTube video (more than 2.1 million views to date), five construction machines jointly tackle the tower of blocks.
“We switched the rules and made it Cat versus the stack as a unified team, and not each machine against each other,” Lyons says. “This is very similar to how our customers attack a jobsite. One machine, attachment, or technology can’t do it all. It takes a team approach to make our customers successful.”
While the game was clearly inspired by the Jenga game, Caterpillar christened the video Caterpillar Stack for copyright reasons. But, Lyons says, buzz around the video spread and reached Jenga owners Pokonobe Associates, who were thrilled with the clip.
The pieces are constructed of sustainable wood harvested from the Northwestern U.S. A lumber firm that specializes in building sturdy wood trusses found in churches shaped and scaled the pieces as true to the original Jenga game as possible.
Which machine came out on top of the Jenga game? Watch the video to find out, but in the end everyone came out a winner, Lyons says.
The second Built For It video demonstrates the ruggedness of the company’s B15 smartphones by dropping them, immersing then in water, and finally running over them with a MH3049 material handler. To view all of the campaign’s videos go to www.youtube.com and search for “built for it.”
Jenni Spinner is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former associate editor of Public Works.