Friday, December 15, 2006

Read the Magazine, Smell the Cheesecake

We've all heard of viral marketing--but is America ready for nasal marketing? Kraft Foods has sponsored a holiday issue of People magazine that will feature five different ads that allow readers to scratch a spot and smell a Kraft product being advertised.

Scratch and sniff is nothing new for the perfume and cosmetic trades, but for snack foods? Apparently the products to be given the olfactory treatment are Chips Ahoy! cookies and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. It's said that a full-page ad for the cream cheese shows a photo of a strawberry cheesecake and, when sniffed, will yield the smell of the dessert. The other scratch and sniff products are said to include cinnamon coffee, cherry Jello-O, and white chocolate. Besides the special ads, one of the articles has been said to include pictures of food items that release a scent when rubbed or scratched.

So what's the thinking behind the scented ads? As often is the case with unusual marketing techniques, the idea is to make the product or company stand out in an increasingly crowded product field and marketing environment. Whether the smell of strawberry cheesecake mixed in with that of the magazine's paper and ink is another question.

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