Sweet smell of success in Coles print campaign

The return of sensory advertising in the form of a scented campaign run by Coles in last weekend’s major newspapers, indicate an increased demand by advertisers for creative approaches to print advertising.

The campaign displayed two full-page ads marketing Coles’ new Heston Blumenthal lemon myrtle hot cross buns, with one page releasing an aroma, when rubbed, similar to that of the product. The ads ran in Fairfax Media, News Corp and West Australian papers.

William Thompson, the NSW manager of strategic publishing for Fairfax Media Publications, said that the company had seen an increase in requests for these kinds of solutions as “advertisers look for more bespoke and inventive ways to engage an audience”.

“This type of experience allows an advertiser to engage with their audience via a sense not normally used in other forms of traditional advertising – smell,” he said. “Connection through a sensory experience allows readers to instantly recognise a product.”

“For Coles, the scent of a hot cross bun evokes emotions and memories for our readers who have purchased them every Easter for as long as they can remember.”

The papers publishing the ad used Reed Pacific Media’s NewsScent technology to spray the fragrance onto the newspaper as it is being printed. NewsScent is an inline application and allows for continuous production without speed or quality disruptions.

Mr Thompson said that Fairfax used micro-encapsulation technology to create micro bubbles of the hot cross bun fragrance on the paper, so that when readers rub it the capsules break open and release the NewsScent aroma sprayed on the page.

“Using NewsScent, advertisers can choose from virtually any fragrance which they would like to associate with their brand, from fresh cut grass to coffee and even perfume from products – the micro encapsulations protects the integrity of fragrances, stopping them from bruising and delivering strong sampling results,” he said.

The reader response has been mostly positive according to Mr Thompson.

“It’s a cool execution and our intelligent, curious readers are always keen to know how it all works, e.g. how is the scent applied?” he said.

“I think any form of advertising where an audience can engage with the ad, like through a sensory experience, will always be well received.”

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  1. I must admit I thought this was ridiculous when I heard about it…but the execution actually surprised me. And, I took a lot more notice of it than I have any annoying “rich media” ads on the mastheads.

  2. I hate to be the one to point this out, but Woolworths ran a scented page for Hot Cross Buns last year in the News Ltd papers

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