As technology progresses, no industry is exempt from modernization- including agriculture. More than ever, farmers are focused on consumer perceptions and are trying to showcase how modernized they have become. Recently, many farms and ranches have become focused on creating “smart farms”: farms focused on environmental responsibility and animal care. Overall, farming today looks much, much different than many of us expect. Although technology and innovation have radically changed the farming industry, consumers often remain ignorant of these changes.
Dominant societal ideas of old school, traditional farming methods prevail, which position technology and agriculture as not having much to do with each other. The United States Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) was aware of this knowledge gap and wanted to show consumers how technologically-driven modern working farms actually are. The overarching goal of this project was to show consumers and agricultural organizations that they can both trust in and feel confident about today’s agricultural practices, due to a renewed dedication to environmental responsibility and animal welfare. It was a difficult topic to grapple with, considering there was a massive pool of consumers to appeal to and a topic that’s not given much consideration in society, leading to low consumer engagement.
Cubicle Ninjas knew that in order to gain trust and confidence from stakeholders, they needed to show an inside look at what actually goes on behind the scenes in USFRA working farms. Of course, most consumers have never (and likely will never) step foot on a hog farm… so if you can’t get the consumer to the farm, then you must bring the farm to the consumer! Using a series of short, high quality 360 videos paired with useful narration, the Ninjas were able to achieve this. The videos were hosted on a virtual reality (VR) application.
Scriptwriting, storyboarding, on-site filming, editing, and VR development were all key activities that the Ninjas undertook. It was beneficial to have the Ninjas involvement as early as possible in the creative process, starting with scriptwriting, as this allowed for an in-depth creative vision to be developed and then executed to a tee, as we see in the impressive VR application and each educational video.
Once inside the app, a minimal, clean, and crisp design welcomes the user. Beautiful backgrounds showing vast, open farm landscapes are featured. All a user needs to do is select a video tour and sit back and relax as it plays. Once a video plays through, the user can then choose to replay it or head back to the main menu to select another video. It’s that easy!
Video narration is key to the educational and entertainment aspects of the user experience, as many of the technological advances in modern farming aren’t clear by just watching a tractor or looking at a pig barn. The narrator introduces each new type of innovation and/or technology, provides a brief description of how it works, and highlights the specific benefits to the farm, animal, and broader environment to maximize the educational value for the user. For example, one of the videos showcases an indoor pig barn. Without narration, the user might have no idea that nowadays, most farmers actually keep their pigs inside as a protection mechanism against adverse weather, predators, and disease. To control the indoor environment, farmers can simply use their smartphone or tablet to adjust the heat, raise or lower the curtains, and turn on cooling mist sprinklers. That’s some pretty advanced farming!
The Cubicle Ninjas delivered a clean, seamless VR application featuring a series of educational 360 videos to help educate consumers about modernized USFRA farming practices. As a result, the USFRA has been able to work towards increasing the trust and confidence of consumers in their country’s farming and ranching practices. This is key to ensure continued support for the agriculture industry and its mission of animal welfare and environmental responsibility.
STUDIO: Cubicle Ninjas