Cat of All Trades
Caterpillar is best known as a manufacturer of large earthmoving and mining equipment. The compact construction equipment (CCE) range (skid steer loaders, mini excavators and multi-terrain loaders) is a more recent and less well-known addition to the company’s range of products and, in comparison with the mining and civil construction ranges, it was underperforming by way of market awareness. An assessment of the pathway-to-market indicated that Caterpillar’s traditional marketing techniques were not effective in reaching the CCE market (self-employed owner/operators and SME owners working in commercial and residential construction, landscaping and demolition). It became clear that a more broadly integrated approach would be required to energise the Caterpillar brand within the CCE market. It was in this light that an integrated concept, put forward by Brand New Media, to participate as a partner in the KingGee Jack Of All Trades branded television show and competition was welcomed.
Agencies: Brand New Media, Accelerator Melbourne
TVC development: JWT Melbourne TV Production, Brand New Media
Caterpillar’s participation in the program was designed to:
- Position Caterpillar in the trade segment
- Stimulate interest in and recognition of its CCE range of machines
- ‘Get to know’ the trade machine buyer better
- Begin an ongoing dialogue with a large number of segment participants to overcome market perceptions of Caterpillar only supplying to and servicing the large mining/earthmoving companies, and
- Lay the foundation for future sales growth in the trade segment.
In addition, research had suggested that for Caterpillar to be successful in the trade segment it would need to reveal a ‘human’ side to the brand – one that would appeal to a small business buyer. KingGee Jack Of All Trades’ ability to demonstrate personal interaction with the Caterpillar CCE range in a positive way was seen as important to achieving this objective.
The final aim was to ensure that Caterpillar outperformed its co-sponsors in how it leveraged the program to achieve the best product placement and brand profile through its involvement in the program. KingGee Jack Of All Trades is a brandfunded reality TV program, centred on a national competition to find Australia’s best all-round tradesman via a series of multi-skill challenges.
The third season of the program aired on Channel Nine in early 2009 and saw four tradies competing to win a Holden ute while helping to complete a home build that would be later auctioned for charity. A programming opportunity for the client emerged, however, to run the program adjacent to test and one-day cricket, causing some timing headaches, but resulting in a ratings windfall.
One of Caterpillar’s key competitive advantages is its intuitive and accurate control system. Showcasing the Cat compact machine range in real working situations, operated by non-expert users, was core to the product placement strategy.
It was also vital for the brand engagement to be fun, positive and productive. To this end, the charitable focus of the event was an important feature.
Brand positioning, however, was not enough – a key component of the strategy was to engage the audience (through the incentive of weekly prizes and a grand prize of a CCE machine giveaway) to further explore the Caterpillar CCE range and opt into a segment-specific marketing database.
A campaign-specific micro-site titled ‘Cat for All Trades’ was developed to manage entries and capture data while providing a platform for product profiling and relevant sales offers.
The campaign, including TV, press, POS and a program-driven online promotion, was developed over a period of nine weeks. The program was aired over eight weeks from 18 January 2009, and the major prize draw took place one week after the final episode.
In-program content included the CCE machines being used for excavation and building tasks, as well as to test the skills and abilities of the four tradies through ‘operator challenges’ staged in a number of episodes.
Caterpillar work wear (safety helmets, gloves and vests) formed part of the tradie uniform during the Cat specific segments in the KingGee Jack Of All Trades episodes. Branded Cat Rental Store wheelbarrows were also developed especially for use on the show by the contestants.
To opt into the ‘Cat for All Trades Watch to Win’ promotion, viewers were required to answer a question relating to that week’s program. The show’s host directed viewers to the Cat for All Trades website for their chance to win either a mini excavator or skid-steer loader.
A 30-second TVC was developed to run during the program breaks. The concept was a love story featuring two mini excavators performing to a remix of ‘Suddenly’ by Angry Anderson, with a 60-second version also developed for online and viral use. The print execution was based on the ‘Cat for All Trades Watch to Win’ promotion creative and featured in industry publications.
Positioned in Caterpillar dealerships and other locations throughout Australia, POS material was also based on the ‘Cat for All Trades Watch to Win’ promotion creative. The catforalltrades.com.au website was the point of entry for the promotion and for enquiries relating to the CCE range. The content included product information, special offers and dealer links.
Staggered throughout the campaign period and distributed to Brand New Media’s database of tradies, the eDM campaign featured special offers and incentives to purchase from the CCE range.
To tie in with the sponsorship of the program and the supporting promotional campaign, a special cash-back offer was developed for viewers and entrants into the ‘Cat for All Trades Watch To Win’ competition.
Viewers who purchased a machine from the Caterpillar Compact Construction Equipment range and had entered the competition, were eligible to receive a $1000 cash rebate from the manufacturer.
Over the eight-week period of the program, over 40,000 competition entries were received and a database of over 7,400 qualified contacts was established.
While sales generation was not a core objective the sponsorship, on evaluation of the total campaign, at least 13 sales could be attributed to the company’s involvement with this eight-week program.
Caterpillar dealers now have a basis for ongoing lead conversion and the opportunity to engage the CCE market in a conversation about their machines’ performance quality, availability and total cost of ownership that would have been impossible without its participation in the program and the associated