FROM SITE TO SCREEN: HOW CATERPILLAR & TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT JOINED FORCES
How did Caterpillar wind up joining forces with TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT? We went straight to the source for answers. Jessica Nunley, Global Marketing Innovation Manager at Caterpillar Inc., shares the back story—including three reasons why Caterpillar and TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT are a perfect match.
Q. How did a Cat® machine end up in TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT?
A. It’s a long story—the whole process took more than a year and half from inception to completion—but the short version is this: We made a connection with the team at Paramount Pictures, who shared a list of upcoming movies with partnership opportunities. We saw TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT on that list, and we were sold.
Q. Why? What makes the Caterpillar and the TRANSFORMERS movie brand a good fit?
A. Three reasons. First, when you look at the attributes associated with the TRANSFORMERS franchise—qualities like strength, loyalty and protection—they line up perfectly with the Caterpillar brand. Second, the Autobots take on the role of partners or allies who help the hero of the movie rise to the challenge. At Caterpillar, we view our partnership with our customers in the same way. And third, as we develop new products for the jobsite of the future, we’re all about transformation. We want to help our customers change the construction industry for the better.
Q. How did you decide which type of machine to feature in the movie?
A. It was our choice, and we picked an excavator because it’s a universal product. You’ll find Cat Excavators at work everywhere on the globe and in all kinds of applications. They’ve become one of our most popular products worldwide.
Q. Caterpillar is used to working on construction sites. What was it like working with a movie studio?
A. There’s definitely an acute sense of urgency in the movie business, and we had to react quickly to meet Hollywood deadlines. For example, our excavator needed to be on site for two to three weeks for filming, and we encountered some challenges getting it from the factory to the set. Shipping a 20-ton machine around the world is a big deal—it’s not like a consumer product you can just ship overnight!
Q. Are the challenges of working with Hollywood movies worth the investment?
A. Absolutely. We’re always looking for ways to reach a larger audience—those who have never done business with Caterpillar before—and being in this movie gives us a chance to introduce more people to the Caterpillar brand and to our products. One thing we love about the TRANSFORMERS movies is that they have great global appeal. That means we can market our appearance in the film around the world, but also customize our promotions in ways that make sense in different regions.