Sunblock Ad Changes Color When Exposed to Sun

Another example of the message being built into the medium -- a print ad for Sundown sunblock, one half of which changes color when exposed to the sun (see full creative here). If you know how they might have achieved the effect, could you please leave a comment?

Related: When Medium Becomes Part of the Message and Rethinking Print


  1. This looks like they're using thermochromic or photochromic ink (the latter seems more likely).
    Here's one manufacturer:

    When I was in print production, people pitched me this technology every so often; it's cool, but kinda pricey, and in general it's been a solution in search of a problem for a long while.
    Glad to see someone finally got a project out the door with this stuff.

  2. Thank you!

    Too bad they couldn't just slather sunblock over one half of the page.

  3. In 1993, I used photochromic ink in an ad for Stolichnaya vodka that ran only in OMNI, Bob Guccione's science magazine.

    The ad was titled STOLAR ECLIPSE and showed a black Stoli bottle eclipsed by a giant lemon sun. The reader was instructed to warm the ink with a hand or direct sunlight. The jet black ink would become transparent, revealing the bottle and label.

    It's cool to see people play around with interactivity in printed print.


  4. Great post. Reader interaction always makes an ad stick out. Surprised we don't see more of it.

  5. Mystery solved:


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