McDonald’s Turns NASCAR Fans into a Pit Crew with VR
McDonald’s redefined “drive thru” over the summer with a high-octane racing experience that helped the brand capitalize on its NASCAR presence and connect with the property’s biggest fans. Leveraging the HTC Vive virtual reality system, the fast food behemoth’s Pit Crew Experience popped up at 10 race locations throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Armed with a helping of motion-capture technology and a side of social media engagement, McDonald’s ultimately turned consumers into genuine brand advocates.
Equipped with the HTC Vive headset and controllers, fans raced against time to change two tires and send McDonald’s Car #1 driver Jamie McMurray back to the track. The Vive’s proprietary paddle controllers allowed participants to pick up and interact with objects in the virtual setting, including tools, new tires and, of course, a Big Mac for the road. Meanwhile, motion-sensing cameras were set up to capture every head turn, crouch and grasp, allowing the fan’s movements to perfectly fuse with the virtual world. Participants later received an email with their end time, along with links to share it on Twitter and Facebook.
Several hundred fans ultimately participated in the Pit Crew Experience, with many sharing their results online, positioning McDonald’s as a tech-savvy brand that knows how to cook with gas.