As marketers, we’re always looking for the hottest new thing to get our brand in front of people. For ages, we had signage and print ads, then we progressed into the auditory realm with the radio, then it was video ads on TV, and finally, the ultimate advertisers playground: the internet. Online marketing is the fastest growing advertising area, and the most versatile. We shouldn’t get so involved with the internet that we forget about the real world though; lets look at an example of a company who is taking an interesting new tact IRL.
Dunkin Donuts is the trendsetter in question. For those of you who aren’t located in the New England area, Dunkin Donuts is a your basic donut and coffee shop. They’re ubiquitous in Mass. especially, with most towns having AT LEAST two or three. They advertise pretty much everywhere in the Northeast, but it’s in their new, Korean locations that the innovating is taking place.
The company has created a system that brings its product straight to your nose. In an effort to recreate that craving you get when you smell coffee being freshly brewed, Dunkin has created scent cartridges that carry the familiar aroma. These cartridges are located on public transit in South Korea and they fill the area with a beautiful coffee scent every time a Dunkin Donuts commercial plays over the PA. They dubbed this creation, “Flavor Radio!”
It sounds a little strange, almost sneaky, but the reality is that it worked. In fact, it worked big time. Flavor Radio gave the chain a 29 percent boost in coffee sales for its duration!
What does this have to do with online marketing? Not a whole let (at least until they invent the long touted smell-o-vision) but don’t let that stop you from using it as inspiration. We have so many senses, so many different ways of perceiving the world, it’s a shame to place any artificial limitations on yourself. Even online, you should always be moving forward, not just producing, but innovating!