In This Episode:
Unifying Content for Cat Parts and Components

Creative Director, Van Burnett, has been involved in many exciting projects along his career path at Simantel, but the one that makes him most proud is developing an aligned messaging framework to unify content for multiple Caterpillar aftermarket product groups. It all started when the Cat Filters and Cat Fluids (Oils & Greases) teams were looking for consistent positioning with a similar look and feel to bring the two together under one umbrella.

In this episode, Van explains how we leaned into the ask to create more than just a campaign. The work gave Cat parts and component groups an organized framework to build a playbook of evergreen content that would last for years instead of mere months. To get the project rolling, a qualitative audit of existing content was completed. That helped identify similarities that could be grouped into messaging pillars. Then came the fun of concepting. Van shares what that process was like and how Take a Closer Look came to life.

After four years, the aligned messaging framework has impacted nine Caterpillar aftermarket product groups across multiple industries. And it’s continuing to grow. As it spreads throughout Caterpillar more and more groups are looking to take advantage of the concept to create a more connected experience for their customers.

Tune in to hear about that and more, like what Van’s up to now and his vision for keeping creative at the forefront as Simantel digs deeper into CX/UX and tips to success for new Simantelites.


“Customers would think of Cat and think of equipment, but they’re not necessarily thinking that their filters are as unique as their excavators are and that was kind of a core part of take a closer look…”


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Bonus Clip: Van Narrates His Story

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About Van Burnett

Van joined Simantel in 2014 in client services and built a knack for creative strategy before jumping over to copywriting, then experience strategy, and finally landing in his current role of Creative Director. He has a special focus on creative video tactics and messaging work and plays an integral role in producing top-notch content for his teams, clients and campaigns. He’s contributed to several award-winning campaigns, including a Telly award for the Cat® 306 CR’s Lift More Campaign and five MUSE Creative Awards for the Cat Dream Dozer Campaign.

Van’s creativity and tenacity persist outside of Simantel, too. A storyteller at heart, he’s the co-founder of local film group, Neckbone Pictures, where he’s written, starred in and directed two feature films shown on local big screens. He’s also the co-founder and a seven-year member of the Beau Grant Foundation, where he helps raise awareness and support for those affected by suicide — serving as media spokesperson and making annual appearances on morning news outlets to help spread the word.

In fifth grade, Van was attacked by 76 leeches in Canada. When asked, he attributes this survival to “a young Mamba Mentality.” In addition to his tenacity, Van is a driver of our annual Smoke on the Water competition where he’s passionate about bringing the best smoked meat to all Simantelites. Connect with Van on LinkedIn.

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