Chicago, IL 2016: McDonald’s tapped a team of activation specialists consisting of KemperLesnik, Evolve and NEXT/NOW to create a comfortable and inviting pop-up experience with original mobile applications and, as a centerpiece, a one-of-it’s-kind Virtual Reality game from NEXT/NOW for the 100’s of thousands of anticipated attendees to this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Using the highly anticipated and best-in-class, not yet publically available HTC Vive VR headset, users are transported into the excitement of a virtual NASCAR pit stop, where a digitized Jamie McMurray, driver of the McDonald’s #1 Chevy SS, instructs them to become part of the team by changing the driver’s side tires in a race against time.

Once users place on the VR goggles, they are surrounded by a virtual world built with the sights and sounds of a real life racecourse. A true-to-life McDonald’s liveried stock car screams into the pit and the user goes to work with an air gun and a stack of tires to get the driver back out on the track as fast as possible. Once complete, the user receives a personalized email with their finishing time and a link to share their accomplishment on social media.

“We knew we wanted to move beyond the basic driving experience, so after coming up with our idea for the McDonald’s Pit Crew Challenge, we needed to work with a team that could bring the concept to life in the way we imagined, and this group delivered,” said Douglas Freeland, McDonald’s U.S. Director of Sports and Entertainment Alliances. “Putting the user on the track as a pit crew member creates an unmatched, one-of-a-kind VR experience and we could not be happier with the results!”

“VR experiences really shine when they allow the user to take part in an experience they could never hope to have in the real-world,” explains NEXT/NOW founder Alan Hughes. “Being a part of the McDonald’s world-class NASCAR crew is over-the-top exciting and unforgettable. We worked to capture every detail to make this as real as possible – even down to recording sound effects from the actual racecar and pit stop. Our animation team utilized Hollywood-level motion capture to create real-world animations of virtual pit crew members.”

NEXT/NOW is A Chicago-based award-winning interactive experiential agency, focused on creating next-generation digital/physical activated spaces and experiences for leading brands, retailers, and exhibits. NEXT/NOW clients include the NBA, Intel, McDonald’s, Mazda, Accenture, Farmers Insurance, The Kraft Heinz Company, Audi, Kaiser Permanente, John Deere, Trek, Under Armour, Steelcase, NEC, and United Airlines.

NEXT/NOW worked with agency partners KemperLesnik and Evolve to build the McDonald’s Pit Crew Experience.



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