Ads no longer just appeal to our senses of sight and sound – some may now have the ability to trigger our sense of smell. In South Korea, Dunkin Donuts tested out what they called the “Flavor Radio” this past January to April. When Dunkin’s jingle played in Seoul (“The City of Coffee”) buses, an air-freshener-like device sprayed a fresh coffee scent into the air, prompting thoughts of the satisfying, energy-boosting beverage in commuters.
Conveniently, the ads were played as the bus rolled up to two different Dunkin’ locations. According to Flavor Radio’s submission for the Cannes International Festival of Creativity this year, “’Dunkin Donuts’ is more strongly branded for donuts than coffee. This perception leads to coffee drinkers selecting other cafes over Dunkin. It is necessary to establish that ‘Dunkin = coffee’ to convince people to select Dunkin for their coffee fix.”
The unique marketing tactic actually worked: visitors to Dunkin’ Donuts stores near bus stops rose 16% during the initial run of the program, and overall coffee sales jumped by 29%, according to the campaign’s ad agency Cheil Worldwide.
I don’t need to smell my Iced Latte Lite (with skim milk and two Splenda) on my green line commute to briskly walk to the Dunkin’ on Boylston before heading into work. It has become second nature. Now, if they decided to spritz the sweet aroma of a chocolate-frosted donut into my face, we may have a problem, and I may have no choice but to add a donut or two to my regular latte order (hey – I get the latte lite, so it cancels itself out, right?).
There ya go, Dunks. Secret’s out. Yes, I am a marketer’s dream.