The Mack mDrive HD transmission launch became another unique marketing opportunity for us. One of the largest challenges for the OEM as we ramp up for serial production, is actually having enough products available for marketing to shoot content with or actually get the product in front of customers. Ideally, you want to have footage and testimonials from actual customers (beta testers) to use in your marketing campaigns. However, in the real world at Mack, it never happens. There always seems to be only one or two trucks in pre-production and rarely are they available for marketing to use for any given period of time.
SO we got creative! We decided to push the envelope and actually create a VR (virtual reality) experience that would put you in the trucks along side the product manager Stu Russoli for a virtual ride along. Using the Samsung VR headset and Samsung phone, you are immersed in the cab of a Mack Granite with Stu explaining and showing you what the new low gears (Mack Creeper Gears) are doing in the environment.
Mark Urmos and I determined that we could mount 10 Go Pros on a sphere in the center of the truck cab and record the video segments. Mark then put his editing skills to work and stitched the footage of the 10 cameras together in a VR format to be loaded onto the Samsung Galaxy phones and used with the Samsung VR headset.
The result was amazing! Given this is 2016 and we are a class 8 trucking OEM, putting marketing creativity and cutting edge technology together for a marketing campaign is unheard of in trucking.
Our campaign hook for lead generation was building a landing page with all of the mDrive HD product information, new VR video teasers, and the ability to request Mack branded Google Cardboard to watch the VR videos on YouTube with the Google Cardboard. The Google Cardboard was nowhere near as immersive as the full Samsung VR headset, but the results are pretty cool.
Mack Trucks mDrive HD with Creeper Gears in Virtual Reality VR
What turned out really nice is the ability to hold your cell phone while viewing on YouTube and moving all around to view the full 360 degree environments.