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During the Chicago Bears-New England Patriots game on Monday, October 24, 2022, television viewers were shown a mixed reality ad for Gillette, a sequence that included adding virtual structural elements and a giant razor to the virtual space.
The item was designed to showcase the Gillette men’s razor with an exfoliating feature that is part of the GilletteLabs brand.
It shows the Patriots’ mascot, Pat Patriot, entering a room, presumably somewhere inside the stadium, and flicking a giant switch that “activates” the mixed reality portion of the ad.
At this point, the scene shifted to the field before the camera came up as bright green wireframe animation was used to “build” a large tower and virtual video board covering much of the width of the north side of the stadium.
In an interesting twist, this mixed reality element is a preview of what’s to come in the real world — 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, nod on a smaller existing feature near the stadium entrance.
What is not, however, is the lighthouse’s ability to shoot a green beam of light onto the field, creating a large circular die that rotates like a coin being flipped to reveal the magnetic base of the razor product.
After that, virtual pieces of giant razors fly in from the north side of the field, some coalescing and others growing to form a full 3D model of the razor. The sequence also places special emphasis on the “exfoliating bar,” a segment located under the blades thanks to its bright green color and some glowing effects.
This segment did not include any voiceover or narration, relying instead on background music and the virtual action on the screen 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 the advertiser’s message by making it feel more like a part of the game.
This mixed reality segment was created in partnership with the NFL, Gillette (a division of Proctor and Gamble), virtual production company The Future Group and The Kraft Group, a sports marketing and merchandising firm owned by Patriot owner Robert Kraft.
Gillette has had naming rights to the stadium since 2002, with a recently signed agreement that runs until 2031.
It will rename the stadium GilletteLabs Stadium when it opens for the 2023 season.
Back in 2016, Amazon NBC added a giant virtual Amazon Echo to the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Plaza during election coverage and other brands and outlets have experimented with similar segments in the years since.