Inverted T-Rex Face Illusion

Just look at the video: It looks like the T-Rex is turning his head to follow the camera as it moves, but I assure you, the cardboard T-Rex figure is totally static, no moving parts, no video animation tricks involved. In fact, the face of the T-Rex is not even convex (that is, curved outward, toward you) but rather is concave, constructed as a “negative” or “inward-defined” space.

So what does this tell us about brand marketing, consumer engagement and the like? That what we see is not always what it seems to be, and that the magic in a campaign may well be down to some cardboard, duct tape and the guts to use them to create an illusion, that even when revealed, doesn’t turn you off to the “magician” who pulled off the trick.

The magic goes on in your head, Fred.

That’s what a good creative does: Take the simple, and with a flourish, make it bloom like a dandelion turned into two dozen roses. Tell your story in a way that it involves your audience like a Chinese finger trap–remember those?–and makes them squirm in wonder.

It can be accomplished with words, with video, on the Web, in a print ad…anywhere at all.

Von studied these methods at a monastery dedicated to brand building and ballyhoo. Buy him a drink and maybe he’ll let you tap into the magic, too.

As far as these T-Rex heads? See if you can figure it out for yourself.