Ford uses optical illusion to let consumers 'park' phantom car

Many print ads are lucky if they warrant a fleeting glance. This ad for Ford demands at least 30 seconds of your time, or you'll miss its point entirely.

The ad for Ford’s Explorer SUV uses optical trickery to let consumers "park" an illusory image of a car between two parked cars.

The copy reads: "Stare at the dot in the car for 30 seconds, move your eyes to the empty parking space. See how easy it is to park."

As well as providing some much-needed respite from the often tired conventions of car advertising, the ad should also be commended for maximising dwell time.

Say it takes the consumer 10 seconds to clock the ad, read the copy, another 30 seconds of staring at the dot, 10 seconds or so to "park" the car, then another 10 to contemplate the experience – that’s around a minute or thereabouts of engaging with the ad.

Even if it doesn't quite convey the actual experience of using the Explorer's Park Assist automated-parking technology, it is still a clever gimmick that lodges in the memory.

Client: Ford

Brand: Ford Explorer

Agency: BBR Saatchi & Saatchi

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Job description: Digital marketing executive
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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).

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