That simple scent can invoke hunger, gluttony, desires, wants and urges, all without actually looking at an image of the food.
The power of smell is not to be taken for granted, although many times we don’t give it a second thought. We cannot see smell so we can’t intentionally prevent ourselves from smelling. We can switch channels during a television commercial, turn down the volume during a radio commercial or just ignore a print ad, but a smell will hit you whether you want it or not.
Scent marketing has been around for a while but the scent market looks to grow in leaps and bounds in the coming years. Film studio, advertisers and shopping malls all want to use this untapped sense to push their products and bring consumers new experiences.
An article in Time Magazine on 18 March 2013 lists some ‘scentsational’ projects in the works, here is a summary of some of those projects:
- CJ Group 4D Theatre
Chairs will come with ticklers, fog machines and technicians can deploy over 1000 scents that correspond to the action on screen. For example, a floral scent if the actors are walking through a garden. A South Koran company plans to have 4 such theatres by the end of 2013.
University of California engineering professor Sungho Jin is building set top boxes that will open scents in relation to on-screen action.
- Scent to Text
The next time you get a text, it won’t just come with words but a scent as well. A Japanese company will sell $10 cartridges that can be plugged into your phone and release a scent when you receive a specific text message.
- Scent Ads
Using scents in interactive advertisements to tickle your senses and entice you to buy. For example, the scent of freshly baked cookies during an intermission at an opera will probably make you hungry for a cookie and run off to the snack bar to grab one.
- A Scent of Health
It’s not all about the money. A San Francisco company is looking into creating a device that will plug into your mobile phones to monitor your breathing. This will then inform you of your blood alcohol level and even insulin level which could be used as health markers.
So who ‘nose’ what the future holds for your nose but whatever it is, the future is smelling very exciting.
Here are some interesting websites on Scent Marketing