Can You Hear the Tone Hidden in This 'Vision Test'?

Ad tricks viewers into seeing need for hearing test

Don't believe everything you see and hear in Draftfcb Toronto's deceptively clever TV and interactive poster campaign for Union Hearing Aid Centre. Known for its tricky advertising, the client's new "vision tests" display letters in successively smaller fonts in typical eye-chart fashion—but there's quite a surprise in store. Those who can read the final line of tiny type on the poster and in the commercial are told that there's probably nothing wrong with their eyesight. But they might want to visit Union and get their hearing checked, because a "really annoying, really loud high-frequency sound" has been playing throughout the test, and those with sharp ears would've reacted to it and likely sought relief before they'd finish the exam. (The hearing center ran similar spots last year.) During the eye-test phase of the TV spot, I couldn't hear the high-pitched sound; but at the end, with the ruse revealed and the tone cranked way up, making it detectable to just about everyone, the message got through loud and clear. And given how many YouTube commenters mention being annoyed by the tone through the whole spot, I suppose I probably should book an appointment. Via Media in Canada.