McDonald’s Places Blank Billboards That Smell Like French Fries Around Town

“When every brand is targeting eyeballs, McDonald’s targets noses.”

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For many of us who have eaten at the golden arches over the years, you can likely recall the smell of the food.

McDonald’s Netherlands is putting this to the test with a series of plain yellow and red billboards placed in across Utrecht and Leiden. The prints appear to be empty at first glance, but as passers-by approach within 5 meters, they are greeted with the distinct aroma of McDonald’s French Fries, coming from inside the billboard.

This is the first time that a billboard has been used to diffuse the McDonald’s scent, making the recognizable smell its most important brand asset.


 

“We are well known for our distinctive brand assets that they are mostly visual. Smell has been proven to be more effective at sparking clear and emotional memories than images,” said Stijn Mentrop-Huliselan, CMO McDonald’s Netherlands.

“With the inclusion of this next sense in our advertising, we found a new way to remind people of Good Times at McDonald’s.”

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The billboards were strategically placed within 200 meters of McDonald’s restaurants, inviting those with triggered cravings to easily swing by and order their favorite McDonald’s products.

“When every brand is targeting eyeballs, McDonald’s targets noses,” the fast food giant said in a release.

 

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