business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Advertising Age has a story about how Domino's Pizza in Brazil created a marketing campaign designed to drive up sales of pizzas among people who rented DVDs.

According to the story, "In partnership with 10 video rental stores in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the brand used rented DVDs as media. About 10 discs each of 10 different new release titles such as Argo, 007, Dread And Dark Knight were stamped with thermal ink and flavored varnish, both sensitive to the heat.

"While people were watching the movie, the heat of the DVD player affected the disc. When the movie ended and they ejected the disc, they smelled pizza. They also saw pizza: the discs were printed to look like mini pies, and carried the message: 'Did you enjoy the movie? The next one will be even better with a hot and delicious Domino's Pizza'."

Now, I'm all in favor of innovation, though I think this goes a little far. If I happen to be eating Chinese food while I watch one of those movies, for example, I'm not sure I'd be thrilled with smelling pizza.

But that said, it certainly suggests that the technology is available to enhance the move-going experience through the use of various smells that could be keyed to what is being seen onscreen.

I just think that advertisers have to be careful not to overstep, lest they annoy the very customers they are trying to attract. After all, as they say in Jurassic Park, just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do something.
KC's View: