This mindboggling optical illusion shows the power of Coca-Cola's branding

The best optical illusions continue to baffle us, and it seems that powerful branding can also sometimes be responsible. We all know that a Coca-Cola can is red. That is except when it's either Coke Zero or an optical illusion.

TikTok optical illusion purveyor Dean Jackson has boggled our minds many times before with his regular deliveries, but this optical illusion involves one of the world's biggest brands (see our history of the Coca-Cola logo and the best branding books).


♬ Away With Me - Andrew Joy

The Coca-Cola optical illusion shows a Coke can in a striped image. The can appears to be red, as we'd naturally expect because, well, it's a Coke can. But Jackson explains that our eyes are deceiving us, and that, at least in the image, it's grey.

It seems our brains are confused by what our eyes see because of how the cone and rod receptors in our eyes respond to colour and light. "Surrounding grey with this sort of colour (blue) makes your brain susceptible to interpreting it as red," Jackson says. "Knowing the colour of the Coke can exaggerate this further."

TikTokkers are amazed by the illusion, which works in a similar way to the woman with blue eyes optical illusion. A cyan filter only lets cyan-coloured light through, so anything else should look grey. But since we know Coke cans are usually red, this can also affect how we see the image in this case (see our piece on adverts with missing products for more powerful branding).

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.