For food brands and retailers, farms are currently where it's at. In the past month we've seen Waitrose put GoPro cameras on chickens and cows to take viewers deeper into its farms, and now McDonald's has become the latest brand in the U.K. to put the emphasis on farmers using cutting-edge technology.
The company is using virtual reality and immersive video to take visitors this summer to country shows and right into the heart of its supplier farms. Its mobile roadshow, "Follow our Footsteps," kicks off at the Balmoral Show, Northern Island, on May 13-14 and will tour agricultural shows until the end of the year.
Experiences include a virtual reality game titled "Top of the Crop," in which users wearing an Oculus VR headset will be invited to test their skill behind the wheel of a tractor during a potato harvest. They will be judged on speed, accuracy and the quality of the successfully harvested crop.
A series of immersive videos will transport visitors to an organic dairy farm in South West England and a free-range egg producer in Cumbria, before giving them the chance to look around one of two dedicated production facilities that make McDonald's beef patties.
People will also be able to step into an immersive cinema and follow a McDonald's crew as they take an order and prepare food in a busy restaurant kitchen. There will also be a food and farming skills challenge, "Guess my job," developed by McDonald's in collaboration with agricultural university Harper Adams, the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board and McCain Foods U.K.
Leo Burnett worked on creative design for the project while Blue Rubicon worked on creative development and communications. MakeReal developed the virtual reality experience.
Connor McVeigh, Director of Supply Chain, McDonald's U.K., said in a statement: "As a nation, we have never been more food-focussed. The eating out market is growing but this passion for food is masking a lack of understanding around how food is produced and the vital role our farming and food industries play in growing, sourcing and producing quality ingredients. As one of the biggest customers of British and Irish farming, we want to lift the lid on the passion and skills that exist at every stage of the process, from farm to front-counter. Over the last decade we have invited people behind the scenes of our own supply chain on a number of occasions but we wanted to take this even further."