Zaxby's and its agency My Friend's Nephew (MFN) are embarking on a virtual reality tour of college football games to build awareness and drive traffic to the regional fast-casual chicken restaurant that is expanding its foot print beyond the southeastern U.S.
The "Fanz of Flavor" experiential tour features a van with four virtual reality bays, reclaimed wood paneling and high-end finishes.
Each fan that enters a VR bay is recorded via mounted cameras. By using a “picture in picture” method, this image is combined with their in-goggle view to create a long-form video, which is then sent to them via email several hours later. Fans are also invited to paint the Zaxby mascot "Big Z" in the VR experience using Zaxby's various sauces. At some locations food samples are given out, but that depends on the concession rules at each venue.
The first stop was Notre Dame vs. Texas on Sept. 4 with stops running through Nov. 26. "Close to 100 individuals experienced the five+ minute VR immersion in our first stop, leading to over 7 hours of shareable user content," says Josh Robinson, ECD and principle, MFN.
“The selected cities include those that have had limited exposure to Zaxby's, so we wanted to bring the brand to new fans in a one-of-a-kind store-like environment,” says Robinson. "For longtime fans, they’re able to experience Zaxby's new farmhouse restaurant design while also doing something much more fun than simply going on a virtual store tour."
Zaxby’s has been at the forefront of sports partnerships for years, at the national and local levels, and ‘Zaxby’s Fanz of Flavor’ falls right in line, adds Will Riley, VP brand management, Zaxby's Franchising. "The tailgate and virtual reality experience is a perfect way for us to unite the brand’s love for our fans, love of flavor and love for college football. We are excited to share this with our loyal Zaxby’s fanatics in each of these towns.”
The traveling VR exhibit is supported with regional TV, digital, radio, POP, social and mobile ads.