On The Road, Smelling Steak: Beefy Promotion Taps The Power Of Scent
Travelers on Highway 150 in Mooresville, N.C., however, experienced the smell of grilled steak wafting through the air, thanks to a scent-emitting billboard.
Bloom purchased the ad, which promoted Sheffield & Sons USDA Choice Angus brand of beef, sold exclusively in the grocery store chain.
The billboard emitted the smell during prime commuting hours: 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m..
Birdsong Gregory, a Charlotte-based agency, crafted the billboard and came up with the idea of the smell-oriented tie-in. The agency collaborated with ScentAir Technologies to make this possible.
The chosen billboard was situated near a gas station and selected because of its close proximity to the highway.
The pole below the billboard was transformed into an oversized fork, sinking its prongs into a piece of Sheffield & Sons beef.
The billboard was equipped with scented air technology capable of projecting scent roughly 25 yards, through June 18.
"The system uses three cartridges loaded with fragrance oil," according to Murray Dameron, director of marketing at ScentAir. "A large fan blows air across the scented media and then out of the system. The fragrance for this billboard is a mixture of black pepper and wood-fired grill scents."
Dameron noted this campaign was the first time the company made a scented highway billboard, although ScentAir did create a scented street level mural/billboard in Israel last year. It took two weeks to develop the fragrance and install it in the Bloom billboard.
Location. Location. Location. I think this concept is clever and would find great success in places with high levels of foot traffic. On the other hand, adding the scents of pepper and wood-fired grill to things I already smell while driving or pumping gas screams sensory overload. When I'm pumping gas, the last thing I want to smell is wood-fired grill -- or anything with the word fire attached to it.
Here's where I think this scented-billboard concept has legs: amusement parks. We've got foot traffic from people walking the length of the park multiple times. Imagine a billboard smelling like a lunch special from an in-park restaurant or something simple, like popcorn. How about a billboard outside a mall parking lot? Again, there's heavy pedestrian traffic with fewer car emissions.