Wednesday, October 10, 2007


You know that new trend in commercial truck signage where the back of the truck is printed with a graphic that makes it appear as if the sliding door is halfway open, revealing the tools, equipment, or U-Haul storage space inside? Often with a friendly, uniformed employee standing on the edge, waving? Some of them are quite convincing illusions, and I find myself thinking, Hey, that guy's hatch door is open! But luckily, a crew member is there to hold it shut, and also smile and wave at me. I like this company because not only are their employees brave, they also provide great customer service! With a smile! While hanging off the edge of a fast moving truck!
Eventually the angle of the sun changes, revealing the 2-dimensionality of the scene, or I notice that the employee has not moved at all for several minutes despite being jolted around by the bumpy road, and I become aware that I'm looking at a clever illusion, and I feel somewhat let down and maybe even a little sheepish. But still, it's effective advertising. The illusion is not quite as successful when the image is printed on the back of a city transit bus instead of the company truck, however, because that makes me think, Hey! The hatch door on the back of that transit bus is open, all their drywalling tools are going to fall out--waaaait a minute.... and then I just get angry at the company for making me feel foolish. Damn you, company. I am smart. You tricked me.

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