Monday, December 1, 2008

She Smelled Like Fried Chicken

Twice now I've had two different female passengers board my bus with a lunch of fried chicken. Today, I jokingly commented to one that it wasn't fair. She immediately apologized and closed her take-home box. The smell wasn't so easily dispatched. A craving came over me and I've yet to satisfy it.

What is it about smells that trigger such Pavlovian responses in hungry people? I think the advertising industry is missing out on a gold mine in smell-response ads. I realize there's no such thing as SmellNet or Smellevision, but there could be. Marketing firms ought to find a chemist and bankroll his way to a patent to get this going.

Consider this: you walk by a bakery and what is it that draws you through the door? You go to see a movie, adamant that you won't buy any popcorn, yet you do. You stroll by a restaurant with fajita-scent being piped out through the roof and your mouth begins to water. I have to wonder if perfume originated as a means to cover up the scent of a decaying corpse or if it was advertising for the world's oldest profession. Either way, it's a brilliant use of the human nose.

Imagine the sales at Wendy's if they showed a Junior Bacon Cheeseburger and aromaed the bacon with the commercial. And at 99 cents, who's not going to run out the door to buy one? Or what if a commercial for Febreze gave you a sample and you could actually compare your living room's odor from one moment to the next? The possibilities are endless; however, I'm sure there'd have to be some sort of censorship. I wouldn't want to smell beer or fertilizer ads. Maybe a parental control switch to let only approved-for-the-whole-family fragrances waft into the home with each ad? Our noses are powerful things. Television and internet advertisers should make use of them.

Enough said. I'm off to KFC.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Sean,

Check out www.smell.net!

Later,
Boogar McPhoo

got boogars?
stickyfingers@collector.org

Marissa said...

Advertising by smell might work...except with pregnant women. And all women who've experienced the horrible sensation of pungent smells while being pregnant--especially the sushi bar at H.E.B.--say, "Amen!"

Anonymous said...

hmm, could this be one of your 21 new ideas you're supposed to bank on?