How do you use virtual nature and science tours to win people over during a pandemic?

Before the pandemic, FrieslandCampina invited 25 Mexican infant nutrition specialists to their production facilities in the Netherlands every year. The company approached iO in 2021, looking for an alternative solution to give those specialists the famous "from grass to glass" experience.
header FrieslandCampina | iO




Increasing the established market share in Mexico during a global pandemic


Virtual nature and science tours as an alternative to personal guided tours

About FrieslandCampina

FrieslandCampina, one of the world's largest dairy companies, provides millions of consumers with valuable nutrition from milk, including infant formula. The quality of their products is guaranteed because they own and control the entire supply and production chain. FrieslandCampina's products enjoy great consumer trust. They are widely prescribed and recommended by health care professionals (HCPs) around the world.

A new collaboration looking for alternative solutions

The cooperation between FrieslandCampina and iO began in 2021. Now that the company could no longer physically invite the Mexican HCPs to the Netherlands, a new solution had to be found. Together with iO, the dairy cooperative went in search of an alternative way to emphasise their ownership of the entire supply and production chain. "From grass to glass", in other words.

FrieslandCampina's challenge was acute and caused by the ongoing travel restrictions due to the global pandemic.

The central question for our experts: "How can FrieslandCampina give health workers a meaningful impression of the brand, the product, its production, and their values without the need to travel?"

visual FrieslandCampina | iO
visual FrieslandCampina | iO

A challenge driven by a commitment to quality and care

Travel restrictions were not to stand in the way of FrieslandCampina bringing a convincing story to Mexican HCPs. Detailed, valuable insights and a complete picture of the infant formula supply chain help these professionals make relevant recommendations and ultimately boost sales.

The 9,000-kilometre gap was bridged by a virtual nature and science tour with 360° videos. The aim was to simulate the missed in-person tour experience and reach more health workers than ever before. The virtual tours were supported by a high-quality coffee table book.

Reframing expectations

FrieslandCampina worked closely with our teams to teach them all about the ins and outs of infant formula production. The cancellation of the personal tours in the Netherlands allowed iO to create a real impact and focus on the flow and content of the events that the health experts were missing.

The FrieslandCampina International marketing department, the global team in the Netherlands, and the local marketing team in Mexico explained to the iO teams why a combined digital and physical intervention needed to be designed; to strengthen FrieslandCampina's established market share in Mexico.

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A full concept, developed end-to-end by iO

The entire concept of the virtual science and nature tour was conceived and developed by iO — from strategy to creation, to production and delivery.

  • Concept creation;

  • Art direction and project management;

  • Copywriting;

  • Book design and production;

  • Video and photography in four locations, including post-production;

  • Livestock management on set.

A fresh look at the FrieslandCampina production process

The four high-definition 360° videos show FrieslandCampina's entire production process. Each video is a digital version of one part of the tour that the health workers would have otherwise enjoyed.

The videos form the four main pillars of the campaign, presenting tours of:

  • The farm;

  • The infant formula production facility;

  • The research centre;

  • The Netherlands.

Removing boundaries

The videos were supported by a high-quality coffee table book (250 mm x 250 mm) with four chapters explaining the four pillars. The book includes photographs, information, and scannable QR codes that link to the 360° videos to get a wide-angle view of the farm, the production facility, the research centre, and the Netherlands.

Creating impact through innovation

We supplied 2,000 books that local FrieslandCampina representatives in Mexico used and distributed to the health workers, who could then access the four videos.

The personal tours, of course, greatly impacted the medical professionals. But when that opportunity was lacking, the books — with their combination of aesthetics and pleasant physical proportions — had a substantial positive impact by describing every stage of the infant formula production process, from grass to glass.

Successful results of the campaign

(Survey includes 438 participants)

  • We reached 1500 health workers: a significant increase from the 25 health workers included in the pre-pandemic tours;

  • 93% of the health workers gave the campaign the highest score (5 out of 5);

  • 91% of the health workers indicated that they were more likely to recommend Friso Gold.

Printed books are not disposable items, they have an extended life cycle and can be read by many people beyond the initial target group.

The QR code links to the 360° videos, increasing the reach and impact of the medium. After all, anyone with a smartphone can watch the videos.  

An additional advantage is that we reduced the negative impact of travelling by plane from Mexico to the Netherlands.

The virtual nature and science tour is a sustainable solution with the potential to deliver results for several years.

This proven concept can be easily adapted for use in other markets and future pilots are in the pipeline.