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A Not-So-Serious Answer: CVA Crash Course Campaign

Ask a million people for a conversation starter. It’s almost guaranteed not one would bring up service plans for earth-moving equipment. Because service plans are not the most tantalizing topic, when Caterpillar launched their Customer Value Agreements (CVAs) in 2020, they aimed to focus on the simple benefits for customers: Easy to Own. Ready to Work.

After digesting end-of-year customer research, it was clear that most customers had never heard of a CVA, or didn’t understand what they are. We needed to offer a crash course for a serious topic to a serious customer base. But with some creative thinking and brave clients, we found award-winning success raising awareness in a not-so-serious way.


The Big Question: What’s a CVA

That was in the minds of Cat customers when it came to Customer Value Agreements. The Cat CVA is much more than a standard service plan. Each plan is customizable, but three value messages lay the foundation and set it apart from other service plans.

  • Hassle-Free Maintenance and Ownership
  • Security of Expert Dealer Support
  • Peace of Mind of Equipment Health Management

Hassle-Free, Security, and Peace of Mind needed to be the clear points of emphasis in our campaign. If we could raise customer awareness of what exactly a CVA is, we would help Caterpillar reach some of its key goals moving forward. Armed with that information and a not-so-serious approach, our creative team turned an explanation of service agreements into “The CVA Crash Course.”


The Approach: Educational AND Entertaining

Rather than creating a simple walk-and-talk explainer video, we put a spokesperson on a Caterpillar toy truck and had him drive through a crazy production set as he explained each benefit of a CVA. The customer not only heard about the security of expert dealer support, for instance. Instead, they witnessed a dealer karate-kick a ‘downtime’ punching bag. The CVA Crash Course video hit all the key talking points while using eye-catching visuals to help make Customer Value Agreements memorable.

Knowing the customer base, we paired “boots on the ground” testimonials with the CVA Crash Course videos to provide more substance and a personal touch. With the clever video driving awareness, we focused on other tactics to boost engagement and drive potential marketing and sales leads. To that end, Caterpillar went all-in with a sweepstakes to move the target audience to action. This combo of fun, facts and a chance to win a sweepstakes checked all the boxes for Cat CVA marketing.


The Results: A Perfect Pairing

During the six months of the CVA Crash Course campaign, we saw 14 million impressions and 175 thousand clicks to Facebook ads boasted a 4.63% click-through rate, quadrupling the 2020 Cat benchmark. In all, CVA marketing in 2021 garnered 65 million views and over 800 thousand clicks.

The sweepstakes, which offered three prizes of up to $5000 in Cat Prepaid Credit, amassed 6,000 submissions. More importantly, half of those submissions became new marketing contacts and sales leads. The success of the sweepstakes proved, once again, that pairing an enticing hook with a real means of conversion can be a recipe for success.

The Awards

The CVA Crash Course resonated with customers and marketing professionals alike – including the judges of the 44th annual Telly Awards. Together, Simantel and Caterpillar took home a Silver Award for Branded Content in the B2B category for our work on the campaign. And while our client’s success is always the end goal, the recognition among others doing big things in the industry makes the payoff that much greater.

In the end, the CVA Crash Course campaign answered the big question of “what’s a CVA” in a big way. Reminding us as marketers that it’s not just about what you say — but how you say it.

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