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July 17, 2008 / davebirss

Marketing really stinks

I was having a look at the Ad Age site and watching some of their 3 minute news films when I came across the report above. It’s about the SCENTworld conference and Expo that’s all about getting companies to use smell to market their stuff. I’m sure it works in some way. There are some smells that take me back to my childhood and some that give me very unpleasant memories. So clearly there could be something there. But it bothers me somehow and I’m just not sure why. Maybe because it doesn’t make immediate logical sense. Maybe because it could be manipulating people without them knowing. Or maybe it’s just because the guy being interviewed sounds like he’s spouting bullshit. What do you think?

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  1. Harald H. Vogt / Jul 18 2008 12:22 pm

    There are many stimuli out there that don’t make immediate sense to us. Why do we like a certain style? A woman’s body, the shape of a sports car? After all it’s just a human being or a vehicle that takes us from A to B. But is that bad? Isn’t it exciting? Isn’t it entertaining? If every brand were the same, would look the same and smell the same, how boring would that be? Reminds me of a store in Eastern Europe behind the Iron Curtain.
    In daily life we use all 5 senses (well, most of us). Why shouldn’t marketing do the same? To call that “stinking” is so worn and old because it has been (ab)used so much recently. Guess it still makes for an attention catching headline… Basically, everything smells, or – to use your term -“stinks”. Even you, when you get up in the morning. It’s all about managing the odors that are around us. Does it start to make sense to you now?
    Now apply this to marketing and take away your obviously negative preoccupation and you have a way to inform and entertain the consumer that is beyond audible and visual (which makes up 83% of a brand’s communication with the consumer).
    What really stinks, though, is to call anybody’s opinion “bullshit”, no matter what you think about it. Grow up!
    Harald H. Vogt

  2. rusty / Jul 18 2008 2:00 pm

    Just a note from the guy in the Ad Age Video.
    When you are viewing a 3 minute video that was cut from 30 minutes of interview –
    and edited down to sound bites – I could see that you might the wrong impression –
    But instead of guessing whether I am spouting bullshit –
    please check out the many painstakingly detailed pages of itemized footnotes from over 2oo research studies that are note about scent’s effects on human’s emotions in my book –
    Whiff! The Revolution of Scent Communication in the Information Age
    Thanks for the comments anyway – every mention gets attention
    RB

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