Some publications are experimenting with scented ads as a way to draw attention and use scent as a memory trigger.
I can tell you from personal experience, that is NOT a new idea. Back in my paper throwing days, my folks thought this would be a great gimmick for a grocery store. So, they put the smell of barbecue sauce in the ink, with a big ad for T-bone steaks. This was innovative for the time, and we were excited about the clever technique to draw attention to certain ads.
Getting barbecue aroma in the ink wasn’t the easiest task, and it took almost all night to get it just right. But just before daybreak, we were busy rolling papers and by first dawn we were out delivering.
We got home around 9 a.m. and were met with chaos. Dad had received a phone call from the mayor screaming that the newspapers had to be picked up from lawns and porches, NOW! The town was a wreck, and something had to be done.
It seems every dog in and around Littlefield was attracted to the smell of cooked meat, and they were chewing papers to shreds. Debris was littering every yard, town parks, downtown streets, and mainly, the mayor’s driveway. Worse still were the dogfights that were erupting as the canines fought over which one would carry away the prize.
It fell to the deliverers to go back and retrieve the remains of papers and hopefully not get bitten by these starving, salivating, crazed dogs. Picking up is a lot harder than delivering, but finally most of the scraps were gathered.
This time when we walked in the door, Mother and Dad were laughing hysterically. Seems they hadn’t had this many phone calls in all their publishing days, and they thought it was a hoot.
But then, they weren’t the ones being chased by dogs determined to find the meat wrapped inside each edition.
My advice to these publishers using scented ink: make certain you select the scent with care, and that all dogs are locked securely in the house. Because if the advertiser wants to engage consumers with an interactive experience, the consumer they are wanting is not the neighborhood pooch.