Optical illusions in advertising are fun, and here’s the latest—a KFC billboard in Hong Kong, devised by Edelman, that requires onlookers to shake their heads back and forth, revealing a new menu item.
The creative was inspired by the product itself. “Fing Fing Cajun Chips” come with a packet of seasoning, which you shake on to the chips. (“Fing Fing” means “shaking” or “rocking” in Cantonese.) The billboards feature vertical black lines; when you shake your head, it reveals a product shot.
Here’s the billboard creative, so you can try it. But don’t hurt yourself!
Below is the full product shot. The billboards reveal what looks like a shadowy version of the product.
“We wanted to highlight the truly distinctive feature of these chips—the experience of shaking in the spicy Cajun seasoning,” John Koay, executive creative director at Edelman Hong Kong, told Ad Age. “After hours of sampling and playing with this product we thought, ‘How can we translate this fun shaking experience into our communications?’ in order to make it as memorable as possible to consumers?”
Koay said the idea could have been executed in any number of ways.
“We first thought about using AR technology or lenticulars, but we really wanted this to be accessible for the average passerby,” he said. “So, we pulled the execution back to its simplest form with a traditional printed billboard using an optical illusion. Our idea required people to work a little bit for the payoff. It was a fun way to deliver our message, and seeing everyone shaking their head at a billboard would truly stop people in their tracks.”
As you can see from the video below, passersby have certainly been trying it out.
Lots of past ad campaigns have used optical illusions. Most recently we saw a dessert brand bring back the Magic Eye illusions. Other examples include the Sonos logo, introduced in 2015, that used an optical illusion to look like it was vibrating when internet users scrolled; and this 2017 E-Trade campaign using optical illusions to suggest how the company “lends a new perspective“ to the world of trading.