The visually arresting two-minute video, called "Lantern Festival" and created by Ogilvy & Mather Advertising New York, is the fifth video in Caterpillar's "Built for It Trials" campaign, which launched last year.
The "Trials" campaign is intended to show how Caterpillar equipment can take on big jobs with precision and high performance. It's an extension of Caterpillar's broader "Built for It" branding campaign, which launched two years ago.
"The purpose of the 'Built for It' campaign is to take the Cat brand on the offense," said Archie Lyons, global brand creative director at Caterpillar.
"We are a large, Fortune 50 company, and some people may feel we're not as warm as a mom-and-pop company. We want to go from cold, corporate and conservative to human, relevant and approachable," he said.
The first video in the series, called "Stack," showed five Cat construction machines playing a giant game of Jenga. It went viral within days, recieving more than 2.6 million views on YouTube.
Since then, Caterpillar has launched three other videos: "Gravity," showing how a Cat smartphone can survive being dropped 35 feet into a pool and getting run over by a front loader; "China Shop," which shows how a Cat mini excavator can maneuver around a crowded stock shop without breaking things; and "Sand Castle," featuring Cat construction trucks building the world's tallest sand castle.
The newest video will roll out globally today on YouTube and Caterpillar's website, and will be promoted through paid banner ads and social media. It shows a Cat generator powering more than 8,800 lanterns in a remote Chinese village.
"It really creates a sense of awe on an epic scale," said Adam Tucker, president of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising New York.
"It focuses on Cat's innovations in the developing world. Caterpillar is not as well-known in those markets as they are in the developed world," he said.
The campaign is rolling out in the U.S., China, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and other countries.
"The campaign is designed to reach people outside of our normal scope of customers," Mr. Lyons said, noting that Caterpillar typically targets buyers of heavy equipment for construction, agricultural, mining and other industries.
"The viewer for these videos could be a teenage boy who likes to play Jenga, and he might show his mom and dad, or uncles, who may work in construction," he said.
The videos drive users to a microsite, where they can watch all the videos and learn more about Caterpillar.