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Dec 1, 2006 03:00 AM

Smellvertising comes to SF - chocolate chip cookie scented bus stops

Starting Monday, five bus stops will have chocolate chip cookie scent strips as part of an ad campaign for milk.

The milk company is hoping that a picture of milk & cookies along with a fresh-from the oven cookie smell will make people go home and have some cookies and milk.

It makes me wonder if food magazines will follow the lead of perfume advertisers and start putting food scents in the ads.

I'm thinking the ad is going to sell more cookies than milk. It might work if the smellvertising was right outside a market.

Supposedly this was tried in London by a soft drink company that had citrus-scent to entice people to buy the product.

As they say in the infomercials ... but wait, there's more ...

This site says ...

"some television manufacturers are working on technology where digital signals are emitted causing our brains to activate the sense of smell to coincide with the theme of a television show or commercial."

I guess that means some day air will no longer be free.

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  1. Hm, not to be gross, but bus stops tend to be plenty "fragrant" enough on their own. I'm not sure I want chocolate chip cookies associated with them in my brain. The first quote in the article pretty much sums it up for me.

    1. Some food places in the mall fan their smell out into the shopping area to entice people--cinnabon, cookies, etc. I've never found any "fake" smells to be as good as the real thing, like candles. I'd prefer food scents to perfume in my magazines, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: chowser

        I think KFC does this too. It drove crazy when I'd drive by commute time in the evenings.

      2. So glad you guys picked up this story! The shelters actually DON'T have a picture of milk and cookies. It's just the Got Milk? logo and the smell. Fun, huh? And it's a really good smell because we went through tons of rounds with the scent company so we wouldn't be pissing people off with a gross scent. Hope everyone likes it. :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: tomtom

          So ... did all those rounds with the scent company make you go home and drink lots of milk?

        2. Haha, given it's the city, how is anyone suppose to know it's chocolate chip cookies and not old fashion urban funk? Pick the wrong shelter and you could easily get the scent of pee...if not worse.

          1. it's like putting deodorant on a dirty toilet. you can still smell the urine.