Caterpillar’s Jenga Game Garners Over 1.5 Million Views
In a social media coup, Caterpillar deftly played the most massive Jenga game ever. The video featured Caterpillar equipment delicately pulling out 27 humongous wooden beams weighing 600-pounds, showing just how precise these machines are. A few days after it was released, the video went viral with some 1.1 million YouTube views (and counting), according to adage.com. Aside from that, Twitter has an estimated 28.3 million impressions on the video.
The video of the biggest version of this well-loved game was played at the company’s Illinois Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center where Caterpillar routinely conducts demonstrations for its customers. The video involved 3 excavators, a telehandler and a multi-terrain loader. The equipment constructed the Jenga pile using the laminated wooden beams. Then, they got to the serious business of playing the game. The set-up and the game itself took two weeks to play and involved careful stacking, pushing and pulling of the wooden beams, with a spectacular ending.
For those unfamiliar with the game, Jenga involves a pile of rectangular blocks alternately stacked vertically and horizontally. Each player gets a turn at pulling out a Jenga block. The one who topples the pile loses. The giant version of Jenga showed the precision by which the heavy equipment can be operated, as well as the technical mastery of the machine operators.
The video, entitled “Stack”, is a result of a collaboration between Caterpillar and ad agency Ogilvy. It is part of the company’s “Built for It” campaign. The video aims to show that Caterpillar is more than a serious heavy equipment brand – it knows how to have fun, too. The video was later renamed “Jenga”, due to the game licenser’s request.
Getting the Team On Board
As people are turning towards the internet and social channels to help in purchasing decisions, the Cat brand has responded with this campaign. This is an effort to make Cat more approachable to customers and buyers considering heavy equipment machinery.
According to Nicole Serena, community manager of social media for the company’s global brand marketing division, the success of the video is also due to the fact that everyone in the team (employees and dealers) understood how best to leverage social media platforms. The employees and dealers all over the world (numbering 278,000 in total) served as brand advocates as they shared, tweeted and posted the video on various social networking sites.
The video is just one of the over 1,500 videos posted on Caterpillar’s YouTube account. However, these are mostly product videos and demos, showing statistics and specifications of various heavy equipment. This is one of the first videos that showed a unique side of the heavy equipment stalwart.
Caterpillar has gone in the way of other equipment makers in providing creative product demonstrations that have gone viral in social media. One example includes the epic split made by Jean Claude Van Damme while standing on two Volvo trucks.
Caterpillar has generally avoided endorsing promotional stunts of this kind, preferring to highlight the productivity and features of its machines. But with this video, the company has entered into a world of increasingly ambitious equipment demonstrations, which have been a tool of European equipment makers for some time.
In 2012, German-based Liebherr performed a public demonstration of a crane lifting a crane lifting a crane lifting a crane lifting a model of a crane.
And for anyone who has attended CONEXPO/CON-AGG or other major equipment trade shows in recent decades, the JCB Dancing Diggers are a familiar sight. Moving beyond officially sanctioned heavy-equipment stunts, many skilled operators will upload their own trick videos to video sites such as YouTube simply to show off their finesse with the machines. The YouTube channel BobcatNinja2124 has numerous demonstrations of operational dexterity on a range of small equipment. As Caterpillar branches out into the somewhat fickle world of viral-video creation, the company is going to have some steep competition for attention. But according to Richardson, the ‘Stack’ video may reach a new audience for Cat. “[The video] offered an opportunity to market our products and connect with our customers and potential customers in a unique and different way,” Richardson adds.