New Zealand Mānuka Group and Digital Frontier tell the story of the
Melora Mānuka Honey brand using Virtual Reality and Augmented
Reality. Digital Frontier created a 360° Video where viewers can get
immersed in the production process in the Mānuka plantation and factory in Whakatāne, New Zealand, from the point of view of a bee following the product lifecycle.
An Augmented Reality App allowed the experience to be extended to customer Smartphones.
More and more consumers are interested in the origins and
backstory of the brands and products that they consume and expect a high level of transparency into the production
New Zealand Mānuka Group wanted to find a new way to tell the story of the production of their Mānuka Honey, while also creating a memorable and engaging experience.
Every jar of Melora Mānuka Honey is handcrafted with passion and precision. The brand wanted to offer new and old consumers the chance to experience it up close and
personal. The Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality experiences were to be deployed at trade-shows, sales meetings and the factory showroom.
Two solutions were produced – for HTC Vive Virtual Reality and a Mobile VR App for Smartphone use with branded Cardboard VR headsets.
The App included an Augmented Reality functionality.
With a Mānuka bee as the guide and a voice-over providing information the consumers watch from the bee’s point-of-view as it takes a tour of the Melora Mānuka honey production
process, enriched with Maori cultural elements.
Working in partnership with the landowners, New Zealand Mānuka Group shares a percentage of the income gained from the Mānuka honey and oil sourced from their property.
This fair and open return for the use of the land is a
completely unique arrangement established by New Zealand Mānuka Group. It protects the future of the business, and ensures everyone is working together to achieve the best quality Mānuka products in the world.
Virtual Reality Function of the Melora APP
Augmented Reality Function of the Melora APP
Key elements in the brand’s differentiation are the heart and home of the business in the remote, untouched East Cape of New Zealand, where the world’s most potent Mānuka trees (leptospermum scoparium) grow and thrive in their native environment.
Produced by bees foraging on Mānuka trees that blossom for only a few weeks every year, Mānuka honey is one of the most unique, rare, and beneficial natural products in the world.
New Zealand Mānuka Group knew that it would be impossible to bring all of their consumers to New Zealand for an in person visit to see the care and quality of their process.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality were chosen as the medium through which to tell their story.
Using a mix of live action and computer graphics Digital Frontier created a 360° journey following the product life-cycle from Mānuka tree plantation to a product presentation in a showroom. The entire production took one month and was developed by Digital Frontier, from filming to post-production and final sound design.
The mobile App with VR and AR functionality was coded parallel to the VR production. Both VR and AR experiences have English and Chinese language options for universal use.
The AR functionality allows the user to scan the Melora jar, acting as AR trigger, and a brand image film can be viewed.
Further text product information gets provided. Branded Cardboard VR headsets allow for VR experiences with the consumers Smartphone.
The branded Cardboard VR headsets are a great give away and extend the VR experience for home use.
In the very competitive environment with 200 Mānuka Honey brands in the market, having Experiential Marketing tools such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality allows New Zealand Mānuka Group to make an impact when engaging with potential retailers and distributors.
Experiential Marketing tools enable retailers and distributors to promote the brand with point of differentiation and deep understanding of the brand,
otherwise not achievable with classic marketing measures.
In relative short time New Zealand Mānuka Group increased sales conversion rates with retailers and distributors with use of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.
When New Zealand Mānuka Group does events, they bring a virtual reality set up to show audiences their process.
The HTC Vive high-end VR application and the mobile VR/AR App successfully passed its test at the 2019 SIAL Food Show in Shanghai, China.
“The VR and AR presentation has been great on many fronts; in the more saturated markets it makes an impact with distributors and retailers, demonstrating our commitment to supporting the brand
story in market.
In new markets it takes the retailers and consumers to the source of our products and quickly gives them a depth of understanding not possible with traditional marketing media. It’s a fantastic tool for helping us tell our brand story and certainly has had positive impact on our sales conversion rates.”
Justin Crooks, Sales Manager – China & Southeast Asia, New Zealand Mānuka Group