Marketers and advertisers are always looking for new ways to get consumers attention. Whether it is visually or auditory through a tear-jerker commercial, or bright colors that increase appetite in a fast food restaurant—chances are one of your senses is involved.
The latest target for advertisers might surprise you: your sense of smell. It can quickly change your emotion without you even knowing it. Smell advertising. It’s no new concept. Remember those stinky perfume slips in magazines, or scratch and sniff? Or, when realtors show an open house? There’s never any baked goods to munch on, but the scent of chocolate chip cookies makes you feel at home.
Recently, advertisers are kicking it up a notch. From billboards to bus stations. In New Jersey, a billboard advertising a local state fair had the sweet smell of cotton candy soaked into its fabric, which filled the nostrils of those passing by. Another advertisement in the U.K. featured 3-D baked potatoes at bus stations in York, Manchester, London, Nottingham and Glasgow. When consumers pressed the button on the poster the potato released a fresh aroma. In another, there’s no button needed. London movie theatres released the scent of Nivea sunscreen during their preview. Moviegoers who viewed the commercial with scent had higher recall of the product, than those that did not. Similarly, Dunkin’ Donuts in South Korea emitted coffee smells in public buses accompanying the Dunkin Donuts jingle. This led to a 29% increase of sales in Dunkin Donut coffee shops near bus stops.
With such positive results it’s no wonder advertisers are aiming for our sniffers. Is this the start of a new advertising trend? Only time will tell whether the future of advertising depends on our schnozzes.