Spreading the Buzz with VR

Virtual Reality (or VR) “is already being hailed as the next wave in computing” and we’re as excited about it as everyone else. Why, you might be asking yourself, is a company in the outdoor cooking space interested in virtual reality?

Our new line of mosquito repelling wearables, named Not In My Backyard, is clearly an outdoor product line. So we were faced with a problem: how do we show how useful the products are under the fluorescent lighting of a trade show floor? That’s where the VR comes in.

Attendees that come to our booth at International Home & Housewares in Chicago, and the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas this year will be able to experience the magic of virtual reality.

We worked with a VR movie production company to produce our coolest marketing initiative yet. Set in a backyard barbecue, viewers will be able to experience two con-current storylines. On one side, party-goers equipped with Not In My Backyard accessories have a pleasant barbecue party. On the other, those same actors, armed with traditional mosquito repellant are assaulted by insects and decide to take their party inside.

So how did we pull this off?

Our video production company set up an array of 10 Go Pro cameras in the center of the yard. We set the scene with exact furniture mirrored on both sides of the array.

The actors ran through each scene on either side, with auditory cues to help keep the timing accurate. The two shoots were blended together, and effects were added in post-production to enhance the experience. The results are absolutely amazing! We’ve been having so much fun in the office sharing and experiencing the video!

Innovation is at the heart of everything The Companion Group does. We thrive on being first to market, we love being able to design products and packaging, and we’re constantly pushing ourselves to create something the world has never seen. VR feels like a logical extension of that mindset: let’s make something that gets our customers (and us!) excited about the work we do.

If you saw us at the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Expo, hopefully you got a chance to try out the experience like these lucky people did!

The experience will also be at:

International Home & Housewares Booth #1971
March 18-21,2017 in Chicago, IL


The National Hardware Show Booth #11207
May 9-11, 2017 in Las Vegas,NV

We hope to see you there!


The Companion Group has been a leading manufacturer of barbecue tools, accessories, and other products for cooking outdoors for over 30 years. Its family of brands include Charcoal Companion®, Pizzacraft®, Steven Raichlen™, Patio Companion®, and introducing Not In My Backyard™. In 2014 The Companion Group adopted an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to incorporate an employee-owner method that provides employees with an ownership interest in the company.

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