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BMW burns its logo onto viewers' eyelids

In an attempt to mimic the effects of staring at the sun, BMW projects a flash during a cinema ad that makes its logo seem to appear on the backs of audience members' eyelids.

"Make the logo bigger!" is a cry that has emerged from the mouths of so many marketing directors.

"Burn the logo onto everyone's eyelids!" is perhaps spoken less often.

But as technology moves apace, the possibilities expand in proportion to the ambition and brazenness of the marketers.

So I am grateful to Wired for imprinting upon my eyes an attempt from earlier this year to burn the BMW logo onto the eyelids of unsuspecting German cinema-goers.

Perhaps knowing that most commercials for motor vehicles are duller than the water in a Russian hotel, BMW decided to equip one German cinema with a Profoto Pro-7B and a studio flash unit strong enough to illuminate the dark mind of every member of Congress.

They rigged the machines behind the movie theater screen and, at a particularly dull moment in this wonderfully dull BMW ad, they fired the flash.

Then, the fascinating man on screen suggested that the audience members close their eyes. In a moment that melded science fiction with the happy possibilities of authoritarian politics, the audience could see the BMW logo, as if it had been imprinted on the backs of their eyelids. You know, like when you stare at the sun and then shut your eyes.

I am left to wonder whether the fine, forward-thinking minds behind this stunt availed themselves of a strong insurance policy before attempting this light of fancy.