Last November, 2.6 million people watched Cat® equipment dig for something unusual: buried treasure.
That’s when a 336 excavator, 420 backhoe, D5 dozer and generator—along with a team from Cat dealer Atlantic Cat—took on supporting roles on the History Channel’s number-one-rated program, “The Curse of Oak Island.”
This reality television series follows brothers Marty and Rick Lagina as they search for historical artifacts—everything from pirate booty, sunken naval treasure, Marie Antoinette’s jewels and Shakespeare’s manuscripts to the Ark of the Covenant—that some believe are buried on Oak Island.
This small, tree-covered isle is located just off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, not far from Atlantic Cat’s headquarters in Halifax. Earlier in 2015, Marketing Manager Colleen Richards received a call from the show’s producers, who were looking for equipment to use during season three of the series.
Convincing the leadership team at Atlantic Cat to participate wasn’t too big of a challenge.
“One of our sales managers was a huge fan,” Richards says. “He’d watched every episode of every season.”
After working out the logistical details, cast and crew arrived at Atlantic Cat to choose their equipment.
“They basically went on a shopping spree,” Richards says. “Once they picked out what they wanted, we delivered it to Oak Island and provided demos and operator training on site.”
All that activity was featured in episode three of the third season, which was entitled “It’s Time to Dig” and aired on November 24, 2015. In that episode, the treasure hunters pinpointed a location to explore based on a centuries-old map. Marty Lagina took the controls of the Cat excavator to perform some deep digging, while Rick Lagina stood by with the Cat dozer in case they need to level off the ground. Later on in the show, the team used the Cat backhoe to handle more fine-tune digging.
All three Cat machines featured prominently throughout the rest of the 13-episode season.
“Numerous times on the show, they describe the Cat equipment as ‘excellent,’ as ‘beautiful machines,’” Richards says. “They were extremely excited and appreciative about operating it.”
“NUMEROUS TIMES ON THE SHOW, THEY DESCRIBE THE CAT EQUIPMENT AS ‘EXCELLENT,’ AS ‘BEAUTIFUL MACHINES. THEY WERE EXTREMELY EXCITED AND APPRECIATIVE ABOUT OPERATING IT.”
So was the team at Atlantic Cat. Because “The Curse of Oak Island” is filmed entirely in the Nova Scotia area, Richards says many employees were fans long before the dealership got involved in the production.
“A lot of our employees watch the show, and people were excited and proud that we were part of it,” she says. “We showed parts of the episodes at our all-employee meetings and got signed merchandise from the cast that we used in our United Way campaign.”
The series has more than just a local following, however. The third season of “The Curse of Oak Island” was the highest-rated original cable series running on Tuesday nights in the U.S. and Canada. Nearly 3 million U.S. household viewers tuned in each week—with 4.3 million watching the February 2016 season finale. That meant lots of publicity for Atlantic Cat and Caterpillar.
“We were really impressed with the show, both the way they worked with us and how the story came together as the season unfolded,” Richards says. “It was huge for us. We received tons of calls and comments from our customers and from other Cat dealers worldwide.”
Will a fleet of Cat equipment again star in season four of “The Curse of Oak Island”? All Richards can say is “stay tuned!”