Old School is New School Again – Coles Scratch & Sniff Press Campaign

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Press Advertising of the Highest Order
Something unusual happened in the Ansett household over the weekend; Australian supermarket giant Coles placed a full page ad in the paper, and we not only noticed it, but the whole family engaged with it physically, mentally and the big one – emotionally.

In case you missed it, Coles launched a National scratch & sniff print campaign on the weekend, promoting a range of products. The ad which attracted so much of our attention was for their new lemon and myrtle hot cross buns, which smelled quite simply like lemon myrtle when the add was rubbed. And here’s the thing, when the master of the house (that’d be me) runs a creative branding agency the household tends to be pretty hard to impress when it comes to advertising. But not only were we all gathered around the paper, we were rubbing, scratching, sniffing and all-round engaging with the ad. Our engagement included a discussion that started with “how much the ad smelled like lemon myrtle”, moved on to the fact “we had no idea what lemon myrtle actually smelled like” and finished at “it sure smelled close enough to what we imagined it should and that was good enough for us”.

For any ad campaign to be noticed is a success, to be read – even better, to be discussed and remembered (let alone blogged about) qualifies them for the highest order. Kudos to Coles for hitting the mark with this rethink to the art of old school print advertising., it’s hit the mark in at least one Australian household.

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Dave Ansett
Chief Cre­ator of Brands
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  1. I absolutely love when companies use other senses to engage with their audience. Sounds like this ad sure did get a lot of attention and that means a lot coming from someone with your high standards. I am curious at how the printer/designers of this campaign validated the higher cost of a scented ad. I wish I had more clients who could invest in more sensory marketing, it is definitely what gets you noticed, although hard to prove exact ROI.

    • Thanks for your comment Tanya. I’d expect Coles would be tracking sales of the particular products featured in this campaign and comparing data with historical sales for that category. Regardless, kudos to them for trying something different.

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