BMW and the physiology of branding the eyes with flash effect. What about the idea of using image flashing to imprint the retinal curvature of the inner eye thereby burning the image into their sight?
This year will surely be about change. And innovation. And enchantment and influence in the space of marketing promotion and audience relevance. Really, what is cool?
A phosphene is an entoptic phenomenon characterized by the experience of seeing light without light actually entering the eye. The word phosphene comes from the Greek words phos (light) and phainein (to show).Phosphenes are flashes of light, often associated with optic neuritis, induced by movement or sound.
Phosphenes can be directly induced by mechanical, electrical, or magnetic stimulation of the retina or visual cortex as well as by random firing of cells in the visual system. Phosphenes have also been reported by meditators(commonly called nimitta); people who go for long periods without visual stimulation (also known as the prisoner’s cinema); or those who are using psychedelic drugs.
The anatomy of the eye — and the strike zone of the neural retina, the playing field of phosphene generation. Imagery
It’s an interesting allegory to think about the nature of a brand experience as being something that is tied to the conception the phosphene — an internal ocular response to stimuli — whether pressure or intense light — or chemicals, for that matter. But I might suggest that the idea of this is less surprising when you consider the circumstantial alignment with the inner concept of brand: fire; and the other signature of brand and glint.
In an earlier essay, we’d noted the idea of brand and brandish as having some linguistic syncs that deepened the character of the impressionability of brand and the human enterprise.
(brænd) braundis-,ise(n, -ish, -issh, -ysch, -ische, 5brawndesche, branych(Cath. Angl.), 4-6 brandiss, -issh, -isch, 6Sc. brandeis, 5- brandish. [a. Fr.brandiss- lengthened stem of Fr.brandir, a common Romanic word (L. type *brandre), f. Teut. BRAND, a sword.]
1. trans. To flourish, wave about (a sword, spear, dart, club, or other manual weapon) by way of threat or display, or in preparation for action.
c. To flourish about, move vigorously (the limbs, the head, etc.); also used of a snake darting out its tongue, of a lion flourishing its tail, etc. Somewhat arch., if not obs.
2. absol. To flourish one’s weapons or limbs; to make a flourish or display; to swagger.
3. intr. (for refl.) Of a sword, = To be brandished.
4. trans. Of the sun or other luminary: To dart forth, scatter (rays of light); also (rarely) to irradiate, render luminous. Obs.
b. intr. To glitter, gleam, flash, coruscate. More, here: the OED’s home page at www.oed.com
BMW chose the idea of burning the logo into the eyes of viewers of a tight little edited piece, surely designed to be unforgettable. Visually unforgettable.
Using a flash mechanism blasting a stenciled cutout of the logo typography for the B M W font the identity is flash imprinted on the eyes of the viewer. After that, closing the eyes shows the “fried” details of the font. Of course, the idea of utilizing this technique in any widespread manner would have to suggest discipline of application. Really, who wants to close their eyes and realize that they’ve been flashed in the same manner of staring at the sun too long, a prevalent concern and lesson from our parents — “don’t stare at the sun, it will ‘hurt’ your eyes.”
The opening is credible, as an introduction:
Tell me something. And I will forget.
Show me something. And I can remember.
Involve me. And I will understand.
For a youth powered audience captivated by the highest speed motorcycle racing engines in the world, these are forgettable lines. It’s the imagery that stays in the minds and eyes of the viewer. Not something that is read. Yet, inherently and contradictory in tenor, this recent ad uses the concept of reading as something that is fused into the inside of the viewer’s eyes.
Makes sense, I suppose.
What happens in the video overview is an opening explanation of the nature of the phosphene (to the allegory of sun shine). Followed by the ad itself. And the AdAge overview suggests, ” that the ad — for the car’s motorbike division, Motorrad, stars BMW motorcycle racing driver Ruben Xaus, who came second in the world Superbike championships this year.
Speaking over dramatic footage of himself riding a motorbike, he talks about the questions people ask him about his daredevil racing, and explains that he is living his dream. During this sequence, the audience experiences an unexplained and unexpected flash.”
Xaus intones, “Just close your eyes. Look deep into yourself. Maybe it’s your dream, too. It’s in you. Close your eyes and you will see it.” Looking into the camera, he commands: “Close them. Now.”
Obeying, the viewers see the BMW letters imprinting inside their eyes.
BMW claims that the session (and sensation) are harmless. The BMW spokeswoman offers the strategic intentiona, “We literally got inside people’s heads, involving them instead of boring them and generating a more intensive connection to our target group. Our brand should be innovative, emotional and dynamic.” Serviceplan, the German agency, created the
BMW’s “Welcome to Planet Power” campaign that targets young potential bikers.
That’s brandishment. To some, captivated — “es war kühl” (cool).
Brand enchantment — something unforgettable. Gotta be there.
^ “Phosphenes: The Evidence“. Suzanne Carr. Retrieved 2008-03-25.
^ Davis FA, Bergen D, Schauf C, McDonald I, Deutsch W (November 1976). “Movement phosphenes in optic neuritis: a new clinical sign”. Neurology 26 (11): 1100–4. PMID 988518.
^ Page NG, Bolger JP, Sanders MD (January 1982). “Auditory evoked phosphenes in optic nerve disease“. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. 45 (1): 7–12. doi:10.1136/jnnp.45.1.7. PMID 7062073.
^ The Soma Code, Part III: Visions, Myths, and Drugs – Philip T. Nicholson
^ Kluver, H. 1966 Mescal and mechanisms and hallucinations University of Chicago Press. p. 70
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