Scented Ads Move Beyond Perfume, Still a Tough Smell

Study tallies non-fragrance executions

Forbes just dropped a new article about the effectiveness of scented ads that boldly hypothesizes that scented ads are useful for products that smell good. The story focuses on non-perfume magazine ads. Its findings draw on new research from GfK MRI, which did a study of over 6,000 such ads and found that the few brands that used scented paper (in just 49 ads out of that 6,000) were better at getting people, especially women, to stop and read the ads instead of skimming by them. It sucks that they did all that work already, because a quick Google search would have told them the same thing. We've had to endure the same faddish infatuation for scented advertising back in 2003, and in 2007, and just last year, when scented ads were touted as a possible savior of the newspaper industry. And yet, almost no one does it because it's still too expensive to print, which will probably still be the case when we have this discussion again in 2014.