When a new technology or social media “hot thing” emerges, chances are about 100 percent that the guys in the sales department are going to find a way to use it to sell more tires/shampoo/waffle irons/whatever. Take Twitter, for example. Slap a #hashtag on it, and you’re off to the races. Virtual Reality (VR) is still in its infancy stages — the typical goggles don’t quite lend themselves to walking down the street while looking cool (exhibit 1: Google Glass). But McDonald’s, the biggest burger slinger on the planet, has found a way to incorporate the burgeoning VR platform into its advertising pitches.
Android Headlines notes if you have Google Cardboard or a similar device like Gear VR, HTC Vive, and Daydream View, this 360-degree video will plop you down at one of Mickey D’s new high-tech “Just For You” restaurants that are now showing up in markets like Florida, California, and New York after an overseas roll out. You get a VR view of a new ordering kiosk and can check out a modern dining room that is far removed from what you used to get in the old white buildings with the red stripes.
There’s a key concept here that is worth considering, though; one that every emerging technology to consider. Is the McDonald’s audience going to embrace this type of approach? The NBA is jumping in with both sneakers, for one. Sure, it’s a fun thing to fiddle with, but is there going to be any type of mass appeal use for VR?
McDonald’s is a major mass appeal business, with thousands of stores all around the world. While the younger techy demographic that has grown up on Facebook may find this approach fascinating, the older folks that grew up with Ronald McDonald is more likely to shirk it off. Time will tell if this becomes a viable concept, but for now, it’s fun to take a peek into the McDonald’s of the future that is here, now.