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During the Chicago Bears-New England Patriots game, on October 24, 2022, a mixed reality advertisement for Gillette was shown to television 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 that is part of the GilletteLabs brand.
It features the Patriot’s mascot, Pat Patriot, entering a room, presumably somewhere inside the stadium, and turning on a giant switch that “activates” the mixed reality part of the ad.
At that point, the view switched to the field before the camera panned up as a bright green wire-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 a 220-foot-tall lighthouse, a nod to an existing, smaller feature near the entrance of the stadium.
What is not real, however, is the ability of that lighthouse to shoot a green beam of light onto the field, forming a large circular platform that rotates like a coin being tossed to reveal the magnetic base of the shaving product.
Following this, 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 puts special emphasis on the “exfoliation bar”, a segment located under the blades thanks to its bright green color and some glowing effects.
The segment did not include any voiceover or narration, relying instead on background music and the on-screen virtual action to showcase the product, which has the advantage of being fairly self-explanatory.
The sequence was designed as an “in-game” ad designed to try to bring more attention to an advertiser’s message by making it 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 had naming rights to the stadium since 2002, with a recently signed agreement extending that through 2031.
It will rename the stadium under the GilletteLabs Stadium name after it opens for the 2023 season.
Back in 2016, Amazon had NBC add 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.