Look, I’m going to level with you. DoorDash’s new, downloadable virtual backgrounds are silly. Dumb even. They are a shallow marketing ploy that allow you to “dine out” at restaurants like Chili’s while sitting in front of your screen on a video chat. And honestly… I can’t get too riled up about it because ultimately they are harmless and if it brightens up someone’s socially distanced lunch, great.
DoorDash announced the program today via email. It invites people to visit the delivery company’s Lunchroom page. From there you pick your restaurant background image from the likes of McDonald’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s Grill & Bar, Panera Bread, Buffalo Wild Wings, Outback Steakhouse, Cracker Barrel, Baskin-Robbins, Auntie Anne’s, NYC restaurant Roberta’s, and download it. Follow the instructions to upload the background to your virtual video platform of choice and voila! You aren’t in your cramped apartment, you’re in a completely empty and motionless Panera!
Evidently some of the restaurants are “sharing their in-room playlists to recreate the energy they typically have in stores.” Because what you want is the music played at a Buffalo Wild Wings blasting through your speakers for that extra bit of verisimilitude. There will also be some Snapchat integration with custom filters arriving soon, so be on the lookout for that. #blessed #livinginthefuture
Sure, I’m making a little bit of fun of this whole endeavor. I mean, the DoorDash and selected restaurant’s logos each appear in your virtual backdrop. It seems a little crass to use the fact that people are sheltering in place to do a little free advertising.
This is by far not the worst marketing campaign that we’ve reported on here at The Spoon. DoorDash’s virtual backdrop sit somewhere between the actual survival utility of Pringle’s solar hot dog cooker and the sheer stupidity of Oscar Mayer’s Bacoin cryptocurrency.
But as noted above, if this little bit of something makes your next video chat in an endless series of video chats more bearable, then by all means, download away. There are way more important things to get riled up about.