NPR logo

New Ad Trend: Selling Through Smelling

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/10069425/10069426" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
New Ad Trend: Selling Through Smelling

Media

New Ad Trend: Selling Through Smelling

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/10069425/10069426" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

REBECCA ROBERTS, host:

Inflation isn't news to anyone who's paid a visit to the gas pump in the last few days.

High gas prices have consumers worried and station owners, too. So in California, some gas stations are experimenting with technology that spreads the smell of coffee at the pump to try to tempt customers inside the store.

Today's last word in business is scented advertising. It's not limited to gas stations. The aptly named Scent Marketing Institute, which measures these things, estimates companies will spend half a million dollars on aromatic ads over the next decade.

But there are some risks involved, like when consumers think the ads stink. The "Got Milk?" campaign recently ran into trouble when it put chocolate-chip cookie fragrance strips in San Francisco bus shelters. Transit authorities had to tear the ads down when commuters complained they were triggering allergic reactions.

(Soundbite of music)

ROBERTS: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rebecca Roberts.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And what is the scent for this program, anyway? Ah, we'll figure it out another day. I'm Steve Inskeep.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.