The dairy industry has taken giant leaps in animal welfare. The farmers and the producers alike pay more and more attention to ecological and ethical ways and manoeuvres instead of plainly focusing on efficiency. When animals can behave naturally, their welfare is at a higher level.
But what is natural behavioural for dairy cows? Arla, the Nordic dairy giant, aims to raise awareness around the cows' well-being in its new XR Pasture experience.
Arla underlines the natural cow behaviour; free grazing and species-typical life in a pack even during winter - on the cows' own terms.
"The XR Pasture experience offers information about cows' behaviour, the importance of living in a pack, freedom to move and spend time outside both during summer and winter in an easy and entertaining way," describes Arla Finland's Brand & Category Manager Arja Westman.
Arla brings dairy cows and their lives closer to consumers through extended reality
The WebXR Pasture experience launches through a QR code on the side of Arla's milk cartons accompanied by the Free and Grazing Cows -label. The experience sends the user inside a 360 image of a field with 3D cows grazing. The experience allows observing and learning about the cows, their life on the pasture and grazing's benefits to them and biodiversity without disturbance.
The experience focuses on relevant information about dairy cows' lives. The info is presented as a booklet containing facts about the species-typical behaviour of cows. The booklet also includes information about Arla farms and how they enable cows to fulfil their natural needs for socialising, exercise and play - on the cows' own terms.
Much like in real life, each 3D cow is unique in its fur patterns and behaviour. The XR Pasture experience presents some cows in the pasture in the mornings, others in the evenings - few even in the middle of the night. One cow has been witnessed to stare at the moon, they say.
Some cows can have very speciﬁc preferences, such as "loves snow", making them likely to appear during a snowfall. The XR Pasture lives in real-time and has daily-changing weather conditions.
And, like in real life, the users can build trust with the cows - the more trustworthy the user is to the cow, the closer it appears to them when re-entering the pasture.
"The starting point was to take advantage of a QR code on a milk carton and raise awareness towards cows' welfare in a new and interesting way. We wanted to take on extended reality through a web browser, as the transition from the milk carton to the virtual experience is more straightforward. Collaboration with Arilyn has been fantastic, from the briefing to the final result. The XR Pasture experience supports Arla's animal welfare communication excellently! It fits well to the state of time in our world and engages through gamification," Westman states.
WebXR elevates storytelling
Dairy companies have for long told their story on their product packaging. Packaging reaches the audience well but probably isn't the most engaging and memorable medium. However, they are amazing launchpads for better storytelling channels - such as WebXR.
The WebXR experience and the product packaging support each other in getting the message through. The product packaging encourages the audience to explore for more information, and the XR experience reinforces the message told before in the physical.
The message is even more powerful when the audience can immerse themselves inside it. The audience becomes a part of it by exploring, interacting with and learning from the XR content.
"The XR experience enables consumers to effortlessly explore different cow personalities and see and hear genuine sounds of the field. Each cow's story is based on a real Finnish cow, and they are so interesting to read! The experience is best when visited repeatedly - during different times of day and in different weather conditions. The more visits, the more cows you'll get to know and the closer the cows dare to come," says Westman.
You can visit the XR Pasture with your mobile device from milk cartons accompanied by the Free and Grazing label and at webar.arilyn.com/arla.
Arla paving the way for XR storytelling
Arla has engaged its audience with XR for years. In 2018 Arla's mascot Aamu the Cat, came alive from a milk carton. Aamu's adventures continued from football world championship to recycling in Recycling Buddies -campaign.
The XR Pasture is the first immersive content that runs through a mobile device's browser. The browser-based WebXR makes the content more accessible than the previous app-based ones.
"Arilyn has been a key partner for Arla since 2017 and has helped us deliver on our "creating the future of dairy" -vision. I hope to continue our strong collaboration and strengthen the Arla brand even further through new immersive ways to communicate with our consumers – especially around topics like sustainability."
Kati Janhunen, Head of Digital and Innovation, Arla Finland.