Podcast: A Chef’s Journey To The Intersection Of Virtual/Augmented Reality & Food

Ever since I saw Chewie and CP30 playing hologram chess in Star Wars as a kid, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of creating virtual images and worlds.

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A generation later, I more fascinated than ever by what we now call augmented and virtual reality. I’m especially intrigued about where these new technologies intersect with food, and a week doesn’t go by where I read about an innovator creating a new way to enhance the shopping, restaurant or cooking experience with AR or VR.

Another person excited about this fast growing space is Jenny Dorsey. A year ago, the professional chef had an epiphany: she needed to become the foremost authority on nexus point between AR/VR and food.

On the podcast, I catch up with Jenny to hear how her journey to become the go-to expert in this exciting area is going and learn about some new and interesting ways that augmented and virtual reality are changing food.

You can listen to the podcast below, download here or find it on Apple podcasts.

from The Spoon: https://thespoon.tech/podcast-a-chefs-journey-to-the-intersection-of-virtual-augmented-reality-food/

Pepsi will launch VR experience around 2 iconic Super Bowl spots

Pepsi partnered with Google to create a virtual reality (VR) experience where viewers can place themselves inside two of the soda brand’s iconic Super Bowl ads, sources told Adweek.

The VR experience will include Cindy Crawford’s classic 1992 ad and a 1998 spot featuring racecar driver Jeff Gordon circling a track while reaching for a Pepsi can in his car. The experience will let consumers insert themselves into the video and view the ad as if they were the racecar driver, for example, a source told Adweek, though exact plans for how the VR experience will be executed are unclear.

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This effort is part of Pepsi’s broader Super Bowl marketing strategy, which includes a 30-second in-game commercial titled “This Is the Pepsi,” a new spin on the iconic Crawford ad, and a 60-second extended version of the spot online.

Dive Insight:

Super Bowl campaigns are getting increasingly interactive and multichannel, as marketers recognize that the annual event has become a major entertainment spectacle, drawing in millions of viewers — many of whom are more interested in the creative commercials than the game itself. With its new VR experience, Pepsi is giving fans a front-row seat by allowing them to immerse themselves in an ad.

The VR experience is also helping Pepsi extend its Super Bowl ad campaign beyond the game and across digital and linear channels. The Pepsi Generations campaign also includes in-store branding, purchase rewards and out-of-home activations like the VR experience and live pop-up events to celebrate “the best moments of our past, create new iconic moments for today and set the stage for an exciting future,” per a press release.

VR is still a relatively new platform for marketers. Many are realizing that the technology has marketing potential beyond video games, although VR adoption by brands and consumers could lag behind competing technology augmented reality, which is more easily accessible via a smartphone. Still, PepsiCo appears positive about VR. Last month, PepsiCo brand Gatorade previewed a VR football training game at CES, featuring Peyton Manning, to educate high school athletes about the importance of hydration, according to Adweek. The game is expected to debut this month.

Interactive experiences create more memorable impressions among consumers. These engaging video ads drive a 47% increase in the time spent with a marketing message, per a study from Magna, a media strategy group of ad giant IPG Media Lab.

from Marketing Dive: https://www.marketingdive.com/news/report-pepsi-will-launch-vr-experience-around-2-iconic-super-bowl-spots/516188/

Dr Pepper to bring “football tailgating experiences to life at retail”

Just hours before Alabama hoisted the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship Trophy presented by Dr Pepper on Monday night, Dr Pepper secured a victory of its own around the game.

The Texas-based soft drink giant extended its massive deal with the College Football Playoff and ESPN through 2026. The brand had initially entered the partnership in 2014, becoming the first sponsor of the then-newly created College Football Playoff.

Evan Vladem, who leads the Sports & Entertainment Division at Associated Group and is a sports sponsorship consultant at rEvolution, spoke with Trebilcock ahead of Monday’s game to discuss the strategy behind the Dr Pepper CFP sponsorship deal and massive extension.It was originally coined the “biggest sponsorship deal” in the brand’s history by Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s Chief Commercial Officer Jim Trebilcock. But what was even more notable—the marketing campaign the brand rolled out featured a fictional concessions worker named Larry Culpepper—and fans wanted to be like him. It even retailed Culpepper costumes, which sold out the past two years leading into Halloween.

VLADEM: Dr Pepper has been involved with college football since 1992. Since striking the CFP deal in 2014, what was the overarching goal of the partnership?
TREBILCOCK: Dr Pepper is synonymous with college football. Since signing on, we’ve strengthened that connection exponentially, tapping into the extraordinary passions of fans of both football and Dr Pepper. We are very proud to be extending our partnership with ESPN and the College Football Playoff for another six seasons, and we’re looking forward to giving our fans more of what they crave in the coming years.

EV: How was Larry Culpepper originally conceived?
JT: The way a college football national champion is crowned has been a source of debate for decades, with many fans demanding some kind of playoff. Our ad agency, Deutsch LA, conceived the idea of a character who could claim credit for the College Football Playoff idea, and that’s how “Larry Culpepper” was born.

EV: How did you introduce Larry and what was the response?
JT: We introduced the character in conjunction with the launch of our sponsorship of the CFP, and the consumer response was great, because the character gave us a fun and engaging way to tap into the passion and excitement fans have for college football.

EV: Dr Pepper has so many assets around the College Football Playoff. The brand is the title sponsor of the CFP National Championship Trophy, it has awarded almost $10,000,000 in tuition with your football toss, it has on-site activations, a social media photo contest for a years supply of Dr Pepper, and all of the media. How do you make the pieces of the puzzle fit?
JT: Dr Pepper wants to be a part of the various moments throughout the season from tailgates to home gates. We realize fans gather and celebrate in different ways and we want to interact with them in environments that are meaningful and relevant to them whether that be on site at the game or watching at home. Dr Pepper provides experiences that touch the fans across multiple platforms.

EV: TV viewership around the CFP semifinals and championship game were up this year. In a world of cord-cutting, how much do you concentrate on ratings? Do these numbers have any impact on your approach?
JT: Dr Pepper is always evolving the media strategy, constantly innovating and changing year over year to adapt to the ever-changing media landscape and how people are consuming media. That said, sports is a property that continues to be consumed live vs. time-shifted which makes it a premium position for us to maintain and surround. Ratings for the Conference Championships were the top rated games of the regular season and the Georgia versus Alabama game drove a 16.7 overnight rating +9% versus last year.

EV: How important is it for you to activate on-site so fans can actually experience Dr Pepper? In your opinion, what is the most immersive on-site activation you have available for consumers in Atlanta?
JT: The College Football platform is a great way for Dr Pepper to engage with our core consumers, which is why this is such a good fit for us. We had multiple opportunities to interact with fans at numerous activations spaces throughout the Championship Tailgate Campus. The most immersive activation was at College Football Fan Central where fans could sample product, play tailgate games and take photos to share with their friends.

EV: Why is sports such an ideal platform for Dr Pepper?
JT: Our football partnership provides us a large audience and numerous moments to engage with these consumers throughout the season both as the Dr Pepper brand and in partnership with our retail partners as we bring football tailgating experiences to life at retail.

from Chief Marketer: http://www.chiefmarketer.com/dr-peppers-massive-playbook-cfp-sponsorship/

How augmented and virtual reality will reshape the food industry

Augmented reality content can be found on everything from wine bottles to IKEA’s catalog and virtual reality experiences are much more detailed, with rich layers of interactivity from hand controllers to gaze triggers, and a VR film has even won an Oscar. With Apple and Google both debuting augmented reality platforms (ARKit and ARCore, respectively), Facebook heavily invested in its Oculus headset and Amazon unveiling augmented shopping features, AR and VR is primed to change many parts of our everyday lives. 

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Within the food industry, AR and VR have also begun to make headway. Although development costs are still high, more and more F&B businesses are beginning to realize the potential of AR/VR and see it as a worthwhile investment. Three main areas – human resources, customer experiences, food products – have seen the most concentration of AR/VR development so far and will likely continue to push the envelope on what use cases AR & VR have within the industry.

Streamlining Employee Training 

One of the most tangible payoffs of AR/VR technology is using it for consistent and thorough employee training. The current process of developing training materials can not only be costly, but also vary in quality by team, store, or region. Many times, human resources face the conundrum of choosing between low-touch, high-efficiency (i.e. mass group workshops with the potential downside of low retention and lackluster individualized learning) or high-touch, high-cost (i.e. small group sessions with in-store, real-time training).

Enter virtual reality. Virtual reality can create a detailed visual world for employees to safely interact with their to-be everyday job surroundings and mentally and physically learn the tasks required. These VR lessons range from managing Walmart’s holiday rush to cooking noodles at Honeygrow to perfecting the espresso pull.

On the flip side, augmented reality allows for side-by-side training and execution by layering additional information on top of an employee’s direct view. For instance, a research study found AR to be effective in helping subjects visually estimate serving sizes. Maintenance and repair, a necessary evil of the food world, has benefited from equipping technicians with AR headsets to disassemble and reassemble products without being on-site. 

These new possibilities for learning and development for businesses small and large not only increase the effectiveness of training material, but also allow companies to employ a wider breadth of workers with different needs and learning styles. As headsets begin to decrease in price and more developers pour into AR/VR, it’s likely more and more companies will begin to trial and A/B test these new learning platforms. Perhaps one day, we’ll even view former mass conference workshops with the same nostalgia as the milk delivery man.

Creating Wonder in the Customer Experience

“Experiential marketing” has fundamentally changed the purpose and construction of food and hospitality driven events. Millennials especially view experiences as a means of social capital, and sharing their attendance and participation at an en vogue experience is an important piece of their curated social identities. The success of events such as the Museum of Ice Cream and 29 Rooms have convinced many brands – Grey Goose, Red Bull, Zappos, to name a few – to begin reallocating advertising dollars to experiences and sponsorships. 

Augmented and virtual reality play naturally into this shift. Both are vehicles to activate all senses and immerse the consumer within a specific branded experience. VR experiences in particular have seen growing traction for use during food & beverage events. A great example is the “Boursin Sensorium”, a CGI-based VR experience that paired motion (through moving chairs), scents and tasting samples of Boursin cheese. Patron tequila used 360 video to showcase the behind-the-scenes making process at its event booths and Innis & Gunn beer used coordinated VR footage to complement the taste of its beer. Restaurants and bars are also taking notice: Baptise & Bottle in Chicago unveiled a VR tour to pair with physical scotch; SubliMotion in Ibiza lets diners go skydiving in Samsung Gear VR; Space Needle has launched a sky-high VR bar.

Augmenting the physical world with interesting and shareable content has been the focus of AR in experiential marketing. Remy Martin and Macallan both used holographic visuals for their Microsoft Hololens-specific “Rooted in Excellence” experience and The Macallan gallery experience, respectively. Given Hololens’ hefty price tag ($3,000 for the base Development Edition), most other brands have stuck with mobile AR – such as Coca Cola’s Christmas magic campaign that gave users the ability to see virtual Santa and hidden scenes across branded bus stops in NYC or Patron’s AR-enabled tasting experience with a mini bartender. Brick-and-mortar locations are also toying with fun AR elements, with London’s City Social debuting cocktail coasters outfitted with augmented visuals and India-based chain Beer Café using AR to educate drinkers on the origins, ABV, category and tasteof each beer available.

If the last few years are any indication, even more futuristic applications of AR/VR are soon to come. Visual enjoyment is a major part of any eating and drinking experience and brands have come to embrace virtual overlays – whether immersed in VR or augmented in AR – as a way to educate, inspire, and prompt consumers to action. In one extreme scenario, like the world Project Nourish paints, we could all be eating and sensing two entirely different things!

Chef pouring sauce on dish in the kitchen

Adding Interactivity to Products

Since Bill Gates’ famous 1996 essay, the adage “content is king” has been echoed and taken to heart by companies large and small. In recent years, the rise of platforms such and Instagram and Pinterest – and the social influencers and blogger celebrities it has created – have shown even more clearly that engaging with consumers digitally result in real action. Products and retail locations may still be static, but its content must extend beyond physical space to attract the attention of potential and returning buyers. 

Augmented reality can bridge this gap between consumer, product and product content. The ability to overlay additional information, visual stimulus and interaction on top of specific items give product companies the chance to combine the digital world with the physical one in a targeted and seamless way. Food and beverage companies have begun to utilize AR in innovative new ways: Treasury Wine Estates’ line 19 Crimes brings each label’s pictured convict to life in ARNestle used a character from the movie “Rio” for an AR gameavailable on 26 million boxes; Walmart and Kraft teamed up for an AR-backed summer sweepstakes to sell more Kraft products. One recent, poignant example was when chef & restauranteur David Chang released his limited-edition Momofuku x Nike sneaker via Nike’s AR app SNKRS, which would only allow fans buying access to the shoe when physically located at Fuku’s East Village location.

The potent ability of AR to enrich the knowledge and visuals of physical content goes beyond marketing purposes. Companies can use the technology to educate consumers on nutritional information and product composition or even make healthy but bland-looking foods appear more appealing. AR also allows physical content, like cookbooks, to merge with digital content for a simultaneous cross-medium experience as HoloYummy showcased with 3D dish renderings of Chef Dominique Crenn’s book Metamorphosis of Taste.

As consumers become more comfortable with AR, its presence will become a more continuous expectation. Instagram’s rise to prominence resulted in an entire industry of specialists across the world, allowing for mass adoption for even small businesses. AR is at the base of the same mountain; big brands are already repeatedly using AR outreach, but it still needs momentum from creators, developers and marketers to make it accessible for anyone and everyone.

from Tech Crunch: https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/25/how-augmented-and-virtual-reality-will-reshape-the-food-industry/

McDonald’s Sponsored a Snapchat Bitmoji That Steals Your Coffee in Augmented Reality

When it comes to Snapchat users messing around with their bitmojis, McDonald’s is hoping they’re loving it.

McDonald and Snap have partnered for the platform’s first sponsored bitmoji. The augmented reality feature, which rolls out today, aims to promote its McCafe products and lets users have their 3D Bitmoji steal a coffee cup from them. In an almost elfish manner, the character mischievously runs around the cup before running off the screen—McCafe and all.

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The feature was created with We Are Unlimited—a Chicago-based agency that runs McDonald’s social, digital, retail and data marketing in the U.S.—along with Resolution Media and OMD. According to We Are Unlimited chief creative officer Toygar Bazarkaya, the campaign is part of McDonald’s plan to get more involved with holiday marketing than in the past.

“It’s just a playful take that even your avatar behaves like you,” Bazarkaya said. “You have to have your coffee first before you go about your business.”

Read more at AdWeek: http://www.adweek.com/digital/mcdonalds-sponsored-a-snapchat-bitmoji-that-steals-your-coffee-in-augmented-reality/