This Mysterious, Black Print Ad Can Only Be Read by Shining a Light Behind It

SABMiller's occultvertising

Headshot of Angela Natividad

SABMiller positions its Abraxas beer as an "equinoctial brew for the chosen few." It is made just twice a year, and is pitched as the beverage of choice for "restless minds who live to solve enigmas."

Stay with us, here.

If Eyes Wide Shut left you with a modern occult-shaped hole in your life, you might dig the mysterious brew's latest print ad, which appeared in an issue of Peruvian magazine Lima.

Created by Wunderman Phantasia for the launch of Abraxas Ultra Premium beer, the ad looks simple enough: It's a black page that invites users to switch on their smartphone light to access a hidden message.

Once your light is on, you slide the phone along the back of the page to reveal the image of a bottle of Abraxas, coupled with a poetic missive about how few can discern between the light and the dark, and those who can are part of a select order (…of people who now have the option to buy a more expensive beer. Yay! It's basically an elite college fraternity).

The vaguely culty, Indiana Jones-ish vibe is on-brand and may hook just the kind of people they're looking for. We also like that the ad motivates engagement with tools the target already has (a smartphone), instead of forcing people to download a QR code reader or bespoke app they'll only use once. 

Overall, it's cool work that sparks the imagination. Heaven knows I've long sought a less democratic beer targeted specifically to former Myst players such as myself. Finally, someone who gets us!


Client: Backus SAB Miller

Brand: Abraxas

Brand Director: Jose Eyzaguirre

Brand Manager: Sergio Servan del Valle

Jr Digital Manager: Jennifer Conley

Agency: Wunderman Phantasia

Chief Creative Officer: José Aburto

Head of Art: Augusto Landauro

Creative Director: Carlos Altamirano

Senior Copywriter: Diego Figueroa

Copywriter: Andrés Aranguren

Art Director: Narda Grados

Graphic Designer: Gustavo Zamora

Account Director: Fernando Arriola

Account Executive: Fiorella Rojas

Production Company: Phantasia Studio

Director: Sebastian Castro

Edition and Post-Production: Henry de la Cadena

Production Manager: Nerea Marmolejo

Sound Design: Emocionica

@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.
Publish date: September 23, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT