Review: McDonald’s unveils  world’s first scented billboard

By Abimbola Mohammed
In its unique innovative ingenuity, a global leading fast food giant, McDonald’s, has launched the first world scent billboard instead of picture, videos or logo.
It is not in doubt that when it comes to advertising, the fusion of programmatic TVC tech and digital signage and billboards, McDonald’s has become a catalyst for innovation.

For decades, McDonald’s has seduced taste buds around the globe, making it one of the most beloved and recognizable brands out there. But the iconic brand realized that there’s something just as memorable for consumers as their golden arches, products, or jingle: their smell.

Taking over the Netherlands, McDonald’s released a host of oddly minimalist billboards with a delightfully strange twist. Instead of a visual feast for the eyes, these billboards take a more olfactory approach. That’s right, they’re scented.

The innovative billboard was launched recently in the Netherlands within 200 yards of a McDonald’s restaurants so smellers could satisfy their triggered cravings.
The billboards are either in red colour or yellow colour and appear to be empty at first glance, but as passers-by approach within five meters, they are greeted with the distinct aroma of McDonald’s French Fries, coming from inside the billboard.

The fun out-of-home billboard campaign, titled “Smells Like McDonald’s”, is the first ever billboard where the smell becomes the ad and set out to prove that fans know McDonald’s just by smell, no logos or packaging needed.

According to Stijn Mentrop-Huliselan, CMO of McDonald’s Netherlands: “We are well known for our distinctive brand assets that are mostly visual. Smell has been proven to be more effective at sparking clear and emotional memories than images. With the inclusion of this next sense in our advertising, we found a new way to remind people of Good Times at McDonald’s.”

In a video shared by McDonald’s Netherlands, people were asked to take a whiff and see if they could identify the smell, which many instantly recognised. As the video said, “People could look away, but they couldn’t smell away” and with each billboard placed within 200 metres of a nearby McDonald’s, those captivated by the aroma could instantly satisfy their cravings.”

The video further showed how fries were placed inside the billboard and with the simple use on.

An internal heat-and-ventilation system amplifies the smell, spreading the fraudulent impression that fries are nearby to anyone within the Netherlands, approximately 16 feet of the display.


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