Gillette taps into Discovery’s VR expertise to create a unique SXSW experience

Guys: How well do you keep your cool under pressure? How about extreme pressure?

To show guys what exactly happens to their bodies under pressure, Gillette teamed up with Discovery at SXSW this year to create the Gillette Clinical Clear Gel Pressure Chamber, an immersive virtual reality experience powered by Discovery VR that takes participants from canyon swinging to slacklining – all in the name of dryness.

Inside the Pressure Chamber participants are connected to wearable devices to track when their pressure spikes as they go on their VR journeys.

“Gillette’s partnership with Discovery allows us to highlight how we are best positioned to protect guys from the pressure-filled moments they face day-to-day through virtual reality,” Janine Miletic, marketing director, Personal Care at Procter & Gamble, told Found Remote. “Gillette is a brand driven by technology & innovation, so we are excited to bring the Gillette Clinical Clear Gel Pressure Chamber to SXSW to show guys what happens to their bodies when pressure spikes in an unconventional way. While guys aren’t always faced with unexpected, adrenaline-pumping scenarios such as canyon swinging, they are constantly facing obstacles every day and Gillette Clinical Clear Gel Antiperspirant is helping them keep their cool.”

Brands have been eager to jump on the virtual reality bandwagon, and are more and more partnering with publishers and device makers alike to create immersive and compelling content.

On the network side, Discovery has devoted plenty of resources to VR and it appears to be paying off – at least in its ability to attract advertising partners. In addition to the Gillette partnership, Discovery brought on Toyota to sponsor “Let’s Go Places: Austin,” a 10-episode VR series that takes viewers around Austin, Texas in a Toyota Rav4 Hybrid.

“VR is such an unique storytelling tool; it’s incredibly immersive and allows for a heightened emotional connection to what’s being shared,” Harold Morgenstern, svp of digital ad sales at Discovery Communications, told us. “The rapid proliferation of the technology is a testament to support it has, both within the industry and among consumers. However, it’s still a new technology, so simply educating consumers about it is a challenge all content creators have to address. Consumers will be more likely to adopt the technology if they perceive it as a real added value. For us, that means building up a critical mass of content so there is something of interest for everyone.

VR is already starting to gain traction among consumers, especially with the well-received Samsung Gear VR and the also well-received (and more affordable) Google Cardboard. But this is Facebook’s world, and we’re just living in it. The critical mass that Morgenstern described may depend on whether the Oculus takes off.