This year marks 95 years that Caterpillar has been manufacturing equipment for construction, agriculture, mining and more. It also happens to be the 40th anniversary of the popular and nostalgic PAC-MAN video game. What’s the connection?
According to Archie Lyons, brand strategy and activation creative director of The Cat Trials, the two milestones dovetail to provide a unique opportunity for the global equipment manufacturer to showcase how its products and services bring value to customers in a rapidly changing world. And with that, the company released its latest installment to the popular Trial Series, Trial 9: PAC-MAN.
“Pac-Man is just like a construction site,” he says. ”The ’ghosts’ are the challenges our customers face every day. You never know what’s around the next corner, so you need a good partner. We want to be that partner to our customers.”
Lyons explains that automation and services are important to Caterpillar’s customers, so PAC-MAN was chosen to illustrate both concepts.
To execute the plan, Cat employed skilled operators to build a life-sized PAC-MAN™ gameboard using its latest machines, attachments and technology.
During the video, five players - represented by Cat customers, expert equipment operators and professional gamers - use remote control to guide Caterpillar 236D3 skid steers around an exact real-life replica of the PAC-MAN™ board simulating the game that’s published, developed and owned by Bandai Namco Entertainment.
If you’re old enough to recall PAC-MAN™, originally introduced in 1980 - or young enough at heart to have discovered an interest in the game that remains a standard for gamers everywhere - you know the goal is to consume ’power pellets’ while evading those pesky ghosts.
It took 70 man hours to build the 162.4 by 180.4 ft. dirt maze using a Caterpillar 336 Next Gen excavator. The gameboard, located at the Edwards Demonstration and Learning Center near Caterpillar’s plant in Peoria, IL, consisted of 4-ft. inside walls and an outside berm made of 5,300 tons of midwestern soil.
What are the CAT Trial videos?
Caterpillar’s trial videos are a series of videos that show various Caterpillar construction equipment performing a variety of different tasks. The first trial video appeared in 2014 and to date there has been nine videos in total in the series.
The full Caterpillar Trial Video Series:
The one that started it all; Stack, from Caterpillar, pits five machines including excavators, telehandlers and skid-steer loaders against a huge pile of Jenga blocks. The object of the game is for heavy equipment operators to remove and then reposition a stack of 27 Jenga blocks one at a time, without toppling the structure - using only their Cat machines and attachments.
A different kind of product is put to the test here with the Cat B15 Smartphone phone being put under the strain by gravity. Cat attempts to prove the phone’s rugged capabilities and show just what it can endure. Watch as the phone is dropped from height into a rock pool and 600 more units bare the strain of a 4 tonnes Cat 277D loader.
#3 China Shop
The third instalment in The Cat Trial series was China Shop. Dropping on May 26, 2014, the video features an operator manoeuvring a Cat 301.7 CR Mini Excavator through a crowded shop stocked with over €34,000 worth of delicate merchandise. Was the mini excavator agile enough to manoeuvre through the shop, or did it bring to life the old “bull in a china shop” adage?
#4 Sand Castle
What do you get when you set a fleet of Cat equipment and a team of talented operators and sculptors loose in a giant sandbox? A work of art, a world record. On December 9, 2014, The Cat Trial #4 Sand Castle debuted, showcasing two excavators, a wheel loader and a mini excavator transform 734m3 of sand into the world’s tallest sand castle.
#5 Lantern Festival
One Cat Generator. That’s all it took to light up the night sky—and the faces of hundreds of residents in China’s Yuhu Village. Their smiles, joy and wonder as they experience Lantern Festival in their village are all captured in the fifth instalment in the Trials series. Launched on February 24, 2015, The Cat Trial #5 follows residents of an isolated community as they prepare to bring light to their annual celebration of Lantern Festival, a tradition that dates back more than 2,000 years. Keeping the tradition alive was challenging as most of the village has limited outdoor electricity. However, once a Cat gen set arrives and the power is switched on, the celebration officially begins.
#6 Driving Range
Launched on June 16, 2015, The Cat Trial #6: Driving Range features twin sisters Erimo and Marimo Ikeuchi—members of the Ladies Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan—taking their best shots on a one-of-a-kind course. Five Cat machines make up the fairway, the hazards and the green. The result is a golf course unlike any these two pro golfers have ever attempted.
#7 Tug of War
Shot outside Reykjavik, Iceland, in brutal weather conditions with limited daylight, the seventh instalment in the series, Tug of War, pits strongman and actor Hafthor “Thor” Bjornsson (the Mountain from Game of Thrones) against a Cat D10T Dozer in an epic tug of war competition. In addition to highlighting Iceland’s strongman culture, which dates back to the time of the Vikings, Tug of War showcases Caterpillar’s roots—featuring a machine descended from the track-type tractors that gave the company its name 90 years ago.
Until now the most recent installment in the series, Dominoes, features 2,700 handmade domino tiles set up by two local enthusiasts. Playing important roles along the topple “course” are several Cat parts—including engine oil filters, a Reman cylinder pack and engine air filter elements—commonly used as part of a customer’s regular preventive maintenance programme.