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Spud-scented bus shelters are ads for the nose


February 17, 2012

Bus shelters across the UK will smell like baked potatoes, thanks to a new advertising cam...

Bus shelters across the UK will smell like baked potatoes, thanks to a new advertising campaign to promote McCain's ready-baked potato

With the assistance of signage suppliers JCDecaux, McCain - makers of a variety of oven-cooked potato products - have come up with a novel advertising campaign to promote their ready-baked baked potatoes. Bus shelters in cities across the UK are to be fitted with smell-emitting advertisements designed to mimic the aroma of a slow-baked potato.

The shelters don't perpetually make smells, however. A button on the poster, when pressed by passers by, fires up a concealed heating element which creates the scent.

The idea is reminiscent of Smell-O-Vision, Hans Laube's doomed olfactory system designed to enhance movies. A combination of teething technical difficulties and its attachment to a rather poor film caused a wave of negative PR from which it failed to bounce back.

McCain's campaign's a rather simpler affair, though the scent itself took three months to cook up in a "specialist scent lab." In what's being called a "media first," the smell stations will also, bestow money-off vouchers to the masses.

Purveyors of smelly products will no doubt watch with interest to see what the public makes of McCain's smellvertisements. Will they usher in a future in which corporations bombard our noses as well as our eyes and ears. Dynamic smell-scapes with a different sponsored aroma on every corner? People may turn their noses up at the idea.

Source: JCDecaux via the Huffington Post.

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
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