Sweet Smell of Success

A lot can happen in the first 24 hours of a new ad campaign. Take the California Milk Processor Board’s recent “Got Milk?” outdoor launch.

At daybreak, five bus shelters in downtown San Francisco began smelling like chocolate chip cookies — thanks to some strategically placed “Got Milk?” placards attached by scent-infused adhesive strips. Commuters used to the stench of bus fumes were now experiencing a nostalgic aroma designed to conjure up thoughts of a tall glass of cold milk. All was well.

By afternoon, however, as complaints began coming in, the Municipal Transportation Authority, which had approved a trial of the ads, was turning up its nose at the campaign. And by the next morning, the scented ads were no more.

But there was good news, says Molly Ireland, senior vice president of RL Public Relations. “It took us just 24 hours to realize the technology worked — and it really started a dialogue about scent marketing in general.”

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