Product launches are always a bit demanding, but when you are waiting to get your hands on three of the only trucks on the planet with Command Steer to produce launch videos… there is a whole new meaning to demanding.
Our latest product launch is Command Steer. It’s an amazing technology added to our Anthem and Granite trucks.
Command Steer is like power steering on top of power steering as one customer with me described it. Tony Fripp, our NASCAR hauler driver called it a “Game Changer.” You can instantly feel the steering wheel become easy enough to turn the truck with one finger. Command Steer is also monitoring road condition inputs like crowning and wind at 2,000 times per second and using the data to reduce driver effort and muscular strain. The technology makes driving an 80,000lb truck feel much more like driving in your passenger car.
How do we tell this story?
We threw a few ideas around but at the end of the day, we felt that driver reaction was the story. Everyone who experiences Command Steer has this ‘OH WOW’ reaction when they first feel the difference.
Given our relationship with NASCAR, we thought it would be good to show the return to zero feature and how Command Steer holds the wheel at center for backing up straight in tight spots. Much like at a truck stop, loading dock, or in the case of NASCAR, the infield where there are nearly one hundred trucks parked within a foot of one another. We took our truck down to Daytona International Speedway and put it in the hands of Tony Fripp and let him and Michael Waltrip test it out.
Command Steer in Anthem
We wanted to capture three videos for our Anthem (on-highway product) and three for our Granite (vocational / construction) product. Below are the final videos of each.
The NASCAR haulers rolled into Daytona on Tuesday, February 4th, 2020. We met them at the track shot the Anthem the next day on Feb 5th and launched the product two weeks later at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) show in Atlanta, GA on February 24th.
Command Steer in Granite
The NASCAR schedule couldn’t have aligned any better. From Daytona, NASCAR was heading to Las Vegas. Well… so were we for ConExpo. ConExpo is a massive tradeshow that happens every three years. This is where we planned to launch Command Steer in our Granite – vocational / construction product. Trucks were heading to Vegas so we put a plan to meet up with Michael Waltrip at a fun place called Dig This where we would build an obstacle course to mimic a job site and demonstrate the features of Command Steer.
I lined up six to eight customers to join us on Thursday, February 20th, 2020 and along with Waltrip, they were able to experience Command Steer. The one difference here is that we had the trucks set to enable us to switch Command Steer on and off. The customers would drive a lap with Command Steer off… experience it as a normal Granite performs, and then we’d stop, flip the switch, and capture their reaction when they felt Command Steer through the wheel.
Michael’s energy and fun character kept the excitement and conversation going. The edit turnaround was incredibly tight! From the shoot, we then launched in Vegas on March 10th at ConExpo. Check them out below:
We were only able to accomplish such a fast turn around because we are structured to be nimble. As I posted earlier, we have a very productive in-house marketing team. We have awesome agency support which we relied upon on this project for line art and animations. Lastly, we worked directly with NASCAR Productions on the shooting and edits. With all three of us working together… we successfully launched a major new product set within basically a month.