Scratch 'N Sniff?

Women who recently found Time, Inc.’s People in their mailboxes may have felt a little hungry after flipping through the pages.

That’s because Kraft Foods sponsored this holiday edition of People with 10 pages (five ads, five editorial) of rubbable aromas. The ads included one for strawberry cheesecake (Philadelphia cream cheese), cinnamon coffee (Seattle’s Best), mousse (Jell-O and Cool Whip) and white chocolate (Chips Ahoy! cookies). Editorial page scents featured pine (a wreath) and cranberry (candles).

The issue was sent to 1 million female subscribers, ages 25 to 54, in households with children. An additional 375,000 copies were sent to subscribers of People en Español.

“At Kraft, we’re always looking for new technologies with consumer appeal,” says spokesperson Renee Zahery. “We thought the holidays would be a good time of year to offer this.” It’s too early for results, but after four years of being the exclusive sponsor of this special issue, “it’s been a positive experience,” says Zahery. “The consumers who get it love the bonus edition.”

The nontoxic smells were created by Scent id LLC, and applied on the usual press using a special varnish, at a cost similar to that of adding a fifth color.

“This is not scratch and sniff,” explains Paul Cain, publisher of the People Group. “Those are usually simulated fragrances. These were real fragrance crystals encapsulated into a color. The way to release it is by rubbing.”

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