How would you like to walk passed a fried chicken advertisement that had a soft outgoing airflow with the scent of the fresh chicken so you smelled it when you walked by? Imagine this on a coffee ad. Would it make you instantly want a cup of coffee? Advertisers are hoping that if you smell the food ads in addition to just seeing them visually, you’ll be influenced even more to purchase whatever they are selling. I can imagine this being useful for flower ads, cologne ads and other products also.
The question is, if eventually these ads are everywhere, wouldn’t the smells mix into a mess? I can’t imagine a bunch of food ads next to each other when they all smell. Maybe it would smell good, like a huge smorgasbord of deliciousness. Haruka Matsukura and his team at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology have developed these ads on smell-o-vision screens. They were created to make the smells look they are coming directly from the food displayed on the food ads.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because this is not a new technology. There have been many attempts to create smells on a screen before. For example, it’s been done in movie theaters. However, this is the first time it has been done on something like a food ad which would require a constant outflow of scent over a long period of time.
According to New Scientist, “It works by continuously feeding odors from vaporizing gel pellets into four air streams, one in each corner of the screen. These air streams are blown out parallel to the screen’s surface by fans, and varying the strength and direction of them maneuvers the scent to any given spot on the screen.” I can’t wait for someone to do this with a chocolate ad!