This car ad (visible here on YouTube) is less about the car than it is about visual perception. The ad shows four buildings on a street in West London. Over the course of a minute, the screen momentarily blinks to black 13 times. After each blink, elements of the scene change.
Here's what the scene looks like at the beginning of the ad....
....and here's what it looks like at the end.
Every single window, awning, and roofline has transformed, and even the building colors alter from the start to the finish. There's even a chimp on the roof in the upper left. About the only things that remain the same are the blue car and the bit of foliage in the upper right.
How do they get away with so many major alterations without most people noticing? They use the magician's art of misdirection as the announcer talks about the car. Then, when the voiceover suggests we look for changes, we naturally look for things that we expect to change, such as parked cars. But we aren't expecting the windows to switch.
Even when we watch it the second time knowing what's going to happen, the differences are difficult to notice, because those short black-frame transitions are just long enough to interfere with the persistence of vision. It's hard to remember how things looked just a second ago when we don't know what we're supposed to focus on.
This phenomenon, called "inattentional blindness," or "perceptual blindness" was made famous by a video showing people in white and black shirts passing a basketball. As the viewer is distracted by the task of counting how many times the white-shirted players pass the ball, a person in a gorilla suit walks through the scene unnoticed by more than 50 percent of the viewers.
The problem of inattentional blindness affects the performance of police officers looking for one suspected crime and missing another crime happening in plain sight. It also affects the awareness of drivers distracted by their cellphones.
What we see—and what we don't see—has a lot to do with what our minds are focused on, and what we're looking for.