COME TOUR WITH US: Cracker Barrel Invites Guest for a Virtual Tour
Popular restaurant concept offers innovative online visit for guests looking for a taste of the country lifestyle
Lebanon, Tenn.(June 27, 2011) – Cracker Barrel Old Country Store provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country store and restaurant, and now the popular family dining concept is serving up a virtual tour of its old country store, which is filled with nostalgic gifts and self indulgences, and of the restaurant, in which over two million guests a year enjoy good country cookin’. And this tour is available simply by logging onto Cracker Barrel’s newly redesigned website at crackerbarrel.com.
“As Cracker Barrel was updating its website to make browsing more fun for our guests, we decided to add a few features that would provide users with an online experience that’s as close to an actual in-store experience as possible,” said Chris Ciavarra, Senior Vice President of Marketing. “Guests consider our experience to be pretty unique. Our country store and restaurant have long been a home away from home for many of our guests as we try to provide them with a delicious meal and genuine hospitality. This online tour offers users an opportunity to experience Cracker Barrel virtually, until their next opportunity to come see us in person.”
The online tour was created by the digital connection marketing company Band Digital using “360 Interactive Video,” an innovative technology that captures a full circle of entertainment-quality content – 360 degrees - and allows users to interact with it by clicking, dragging, and exploring the scene. In this way, users control what parts of the store or restaurant they want to discover, as if they were actually in the store. To enhance the experience, Band Digital integrated “hot spotting” – a flash overlay that uses motion-tracking to create clickable elements. This allows users to drag the video and move around, and to click on things of interest for more information. So, for example, in the Cracker Barrel virtual tour users can click on objects such as a rocking chair on the front porch to learn more about this long-time symbol of the Cracker Barrel brand.
“360 interactive immerses you in a video,” said Chip Weinstein, president of Band Digital. “For Cracker Barrel, this means that the store, the restaurant, the people and the atmosphere can be truly experienced by a user. The story they tell in their 360 video takes you there in a way no static digital experience can.” Josh Beane, Band Digital’s director of transmedia, added, “It’s ‘cutting edge technology meets storytelling’. The technology lets a good story take on life – to give you as close an experience as possible without actually being there.” Band Digital secured a partnership with Social Animal, an entertainment technology lab and production studio that creates interactive video with its patented SA9 360 camera system and its SA360 video player, to provide this offering.
About Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store provides a friendly home-away-from-home in its old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage…all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplins as well as its made from scratch biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 602 company-owned locations in 42 states. Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. For more information, visit crackerbarrel.com.
About Band Digital, Inc.
Band Digital is an independent, industry-leading Digital Connection Agency, focused on crafting interactions that inject meaning, interest and emotion into an audience’s experience with a brand. Alongside a complete portfolio of digital marketing services, Band Digital draws upon unique audience insights to develop actionable, engagement-driven marketing. Over the years, the agency has helped companies like Harley-Davidson, AT&T, Meijer, and Lucas Arts create deeper connections with their audience. Headquartered in Chicago, the agency has offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Learn more at www.BandDigital.com.
About SOCIAL ANIMAL
Founded in 2008, Social Animal is the creator of High Definition (HD) interactive 360-degree videos for commercial and creative applications. The company builds next-generation interactive technology that leverages the social power of the web to create more personalized and engaging brand experiences. 360-degree video is Social Animal’s first release, a format that increases involvement, interaction, intimacy and influence--all hallmarks of audience engagement. For further information, visit www.socialanimal.tv.
For Cracker Barrel
Julie Davis / (615) 443-9266