Chocolate chip cookie scented bus shelters will spring up in California to treat commuters to an unexpected multi-sensory experience. A new twist on the GOT MILK? advertising campaign will tantalize bus riders with the smell of chocolate chips in an effort to reinforce the connection between mild and holiday treats.
The cookie smell will emanate throughout the shelters with the help of olfactory scent sampling technology — MagniScent(R) — which disseminates smell via scent-infused adhesives affixed to the inside of the bus shelters and undersides of the benches.
"Retail and hospitality industries have used scent marketing to attract and retain customers for years, but integrating scent sampling into outdoor advertising is new for the American market," says Robert Lauterborn, professor of advertising at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The California Milk Processor Board have launched the scented bus shelters in five high-traffic, centrally-located downtown areas of San Francisco Bay Area, but the campaign will end after the month of December.
It is likely to create good feelings among the riders, as well. At least one study has shown that the scent of baked goods makes people more generous. Homeless people asking for money outside shops where cinnamon buns were baking, collected far more donations than those outside shops that had no tantalizing smells. Maybe it’s a reminder of what it’s like to be a kid again.