Bolin worked with Ford to take Fusion rivals like the Volkswagen Passat, Camry and Honda Accord (and, for some reason, an Audi A4) and paint them to blend into various backgrounds right down to the landscaping, buildings and sidewalks. Ford has thoughtfully provided us with a time lapse video from a few different angles, but there's no telling how long each shot actually took to create in real time.
You'll probably start seeing these print ads showing up in magazines pretty soon, but you can see a making-of video below and then check out one of the campaign's first print ads below.
•The all-new 2013 Ford Fusion is designed to stand out in today's competitive midsize car segment and innovative new print ads for this transformational vehicle bring that concept to life in an unusual, creative way
•To communicate the idea that other cars seem to "disappear" when the new Fusion is on the scene, Ford reached out to Chinese contemporary artist Liu Bolin – nicknamed "the invisible man" – to direct the production of the print ads
•The new Fusion stands apart from the crowd, providing customers with something they've never had before in the midsize car segment – the "and" solution of leading fuel efficiency, smart technology and stunning design
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 22, 2012 – In the highly competitive midsize sedan landscape typified by its relatively bland styling, the 2013 Ford Fusion has been designed to stand out. And that's exactly what this transformational all-new car does in innovative print ads inspired by an internationally celebrated contemporary artist nicknamed "the invisible man."
To communicate creatively the concept that all other cars seem to "disappear" when the new Fusion is on the scene, Ford reached out to Chinese artist Liu Bolin to consult on the project. Bolin, renowned for creating photographs in which he paints his body and clothing to camouflage himself seamlessly into his surroundings, was the perfect advisor to bring the concept to fruition.
The new print ads – which will appear in national automotive and lifestyle publications – showcase the Fusion in a city setting with other vehicles hand-painted to blend invisibly into the background. One of the ads says, "First rule of taking the world by surprise? Do something the world will actually notice."
"We wanted to make a provocative statement with the all-new Ford Fusion, to shake up a segment that isn't exactly known for stylish cars," said Jim Farley, group vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. "Now, midsize sedan customers can get the best of both worlds – Fusion can satisfy both their rational side while indulging in a compelling design aesthetic that says you've arrived."
At the center of Fusion's design inspiration was the goal to achieve unparalleled fuel economy. With over 450 hours of development logged in wind tunnels that led to 10% less drag than the outgoing model, the new Fusion is designed with the driver in mind, offering functional design elements that enhance its sleek exterior.
"From large scale proportions to minor details, every element of the new Fusion has been tuned for the right combination of technical excellence and leadership in aerodynamic styling – all of which culminates with a class-leading 47 mpg in both city and highway driving," said Farley.
New Fusion makes other cars on the road 'disappear'
Bolin flew from China to Los Angeles to direct the production of the Fusion print ads. At his command was a team of trained Hollywood studio painters who worked for hours to paint the details of the scenery – brick sidewalks, shrubbery, lamp posts and buildings – onto competitive vehicles parked on the set.
The meticulous paintwork visually conveys the message that other cars are "invisible" in the presence of the new Fusion. According to Bolin, hand-painting the surroundings brings a sense of passion and authenticity to the finished product.
"My work can be done on the computer without the use of paint," said Bolin, referring to a type of photography that is enhanced through the use of computer-generated imagery. "But computers cannot convey emotions. That is something that the artist captures with his paintbrush."
For a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the print ads, visit Ford Social for more information.
The all-new 2013 Ford Fusion
With its sleek new design, the all-new Ford Fusion brings alive the next generation of more expressive vehicles from Ford.
In addition to its fresh face, Fusion offers the broadest selection of fuel-efficient powertrains in the midsize segment. It offers hybrid and plug-in hybrid alternatives, a pair of EcoBoost® four-cylinder engines, a normally aspirated four-cylinder engine, front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive applications and a choice between automatic and manually shifted six-speed transmissions.
On sale now, new Fusion offers consumers seven must-have technologies, including a Lane-Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, active park assist and MyFordTouch®.
For more on the new Ford Fusion, check out http://FordFusionStory.com, a special mobile site featuring articles, videos and graphics that are easily shareable directly from a smartphone, tablet or computer browser to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and blogs.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 168,000 employees and about 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.