Kraft is sponsoring a special issue of People magazine with ads that allow readers to experience the smell of one of the products being advertised. Kraft believes the more a reader can play with the ad, the better the recall of its message, says Gary Gruneberg, director of media buying for Kraft Foods. The idea of scratch and sniff is nothing to magazines, as I’ve received countless issues reeking of various perfumes. But I think this is an interesting twist on the idea, and from the article, it seems as if the printing technology has improved to prevent the scents from being activated accidentally, which would be counterproductive. (The magazines I received with perfume strips have always been delivered reeking and I can’t tell which perfume is which.)
The article mentions that marketers believe the addition of scents to ads is a huge differentiator from other print ads. My former GSU professor, Pam Scholder Ellen, is quoted as saying “scents can be a powerful advertising tool because they ‘transport people out of their current state into a more desirable state.’”
Instead of trying to make a visual impression, the company is hoping use of consumers’ olfactory senses will leave a more lasting effect.
Does Kraft have a nose for clever messaging? I think the marriage of scented ads with a special publication dedicated to holiday entertaining is a great idea. That the interactivity in this issue is extended to editorial content is icing on the cake for Kraft. (Can you tell I like puns?) Food engages our sense of smell, touch and taste, so why not allow a print ad to be more than just a feast for the eyes?