Food trucks have a special place in our hearts. Sure, today they represent the hippest foods from some of the hippest chefs across the world. But for many of us, myself included, we have fond, heartfelt memories of early food-truck experiences that created an emotional bond. For me, it was Tom’s Truck that offered me a snack or hot dog on my way home from high school as I trekked through Passaic Park.
Building on that emotional connection and today’s technology, unlike Tom’s truck, which was a self-modified mid -1940’s Ford truck, Nikon and its ad agency, Altman+Pacreau, has created the Vision Food truck. According to AdWeek, the truck was created to promote the brand and trick people into getting eye tests. Besides high-quality cameras, Nikon is also one of the premier makers of lenses for eyeglasses.
According to the AdWeek description, the menu, posted on the back wall of the truck, is structured like an eye exam. You can order only what you’re able to see. Instead of proposing fully formed meals, the menu is ridiculously basic — beginning with bread, lettuce and pickles. The things people actually care about in a burger get progressively smaller font sizes. Cheddar is sixth on the list … and the actual meat is eighth, so small you can barely see it on screen.
Once people get the meal they deserve, those who, we imagine, remain meatless are directed to a portion of the popup to take an actual machine-driven eye test.
It's a very clever idea, which may lead other well-known nonfood brands to use food to a build their relationship with shoppers. After all, there's little that's more primal than food, which can create a strong bond.
I remember back in the day, when my dad’s favorite car dealer, John Early, would invite customers to preview the new models before they were shown to the general public. There were champagne and hors d’oeurves, and the place was packed. And most of the time, my father ordered a new car.