What's That Smell?

As Germans sit in a movie theater this summer they don’t smell the typical scents of popcorn, they smell fresh grass, bread, and suntan lotion. The smells are artificial however. Cinescent is a company giving marketers a chance to use an interesting way to promote their products in movie-theaters this summer in Germany. Nivea is one company testing it out this summer. The 60-second spot played before the movie and showed people laying on beach chairs and towels on a sunny beach with waves crashing and seagulls flying about. The theater was permeated with the scent of Nivea sunscreen and the logo was shown at the end. The logo was accompanied by the words: “Nivea. The scent of summer.” The results were astounding. The cinema exit polls showed a 515% rise in recall from the movie-goers in comparison to the same ad being shown without the scent. Scents provide an emotional trigger within the target audience that is very valuable to marketers.
When I read about this new scent-filled advertising, I was taken back to the ride at Disney’s California Adventure: Soarin’ Over California. On the ride you ‘fly’ over California and smell the ocean when you are over the Pacific or oranges when flying over farms. Scent is an effective way of adding realism to anything. The idea of connecting scent with commercials is a perfect idea because it’s almost priceless to marketers to have that psychological trigger and to have another way to implant their ad into your memory.
Cinescent is expanding to the UK shortly and some of the products that are going to be advertised are cars, coffee, air-fresheners, and chocolate. I can only hope that the U.S. theaters take note of this effective marketing possibility and the scent-filled ads will be stateside soon. Who wouldn't love the smell of maybe Starbucks coffee or Hershey's chocolate to fill the room while patiently waiting for this summer's blockbuster to begin?