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During the Chicago Bears-New England Patriots game on Monday, October 24, 2022, a mixed reality ad for Gillette was shown to TV viewers, a sequence that included adding virtual structural elements and a giant razor to the virtual space.
The segment was designed to showcase Gillette’s men’s razor with an exfoliating feature, which is part of the GilletteLabs brand.
It shows the Patriots’ mascot, Pat Patriot, entering a room, presumably somewhere in the stadium, and flipping a giant switch that “activates” the mixed reality portion of the ad.
At this point the view shifted to the field before the camera panned as bright green wireframe style animation was used to build a large tower and virtual video board spanning much of the width of the north side of the stadium.
In an interesting twist, this mixed reality element is actually a preview of what’s to come in real life — the Patriots are working on a $225 million renovation of the stadium that will add a 22,000-square-foot video board and 220-foot-tall lighthouse, a nod to a existing, smaller feature at the entrance to the stadium.
What isn’t real though is the lighthouse’s ability to shoot a green beam of light onto the field, forming a large circular dais that rotates like a coin flipped to reveal the magnetic base of the razor.
Then virtual pieces of a giant razor fly in from the north side of the field, with some joining and others growing to form a full 3D model of the razor. The sequence also places special emphasis on the “exfoliation bar”, a segment located under the blades, thanks to its bright green color and some shiny effects.
The segment did not include voiceover or narration, instead relying on background music and virtual on-screen action to showcase the product, which has the advantage of being fairly self-explanatory.
The sequence was designed as an “in-game” ad to try to bring more attention to an advertiser’s message by making them feel more like part of the game.
This mixed reality segment was created in partnership with the NFL, Gillette (a division of Proctor and Gamble), The Future Group virtual production company and The Kraft Group, a sports marketing and merchandising company owned by Patriot owner Robert Kraft.
Gillette has held naming rights to the stadium since 2002, with a recently signed deal extending that until 2031.
It will rename the stadium under the GilletteLabs Stadium name once it opens for the 2023 season.
Back in 2016, Amazon NBC added a giant virtual Amazon Echo to the ice rink at Rockefeller Plaza during election coverage and other brands and outlets have experimented with similar segments in the years since.