Billboard that smells like French Fries tempts you to go to McDonald’s

There’s a chocolate drink factory near our place and when the wind blows down the main street, the smell of chocolate fills the entire area and every person is brought back to their childhood drinking a cup of hot cocoa in the morning. Also, on my walk to and from the office and my house, I pass by a McDonald’s store. When I’m especially hungry, that distinct smell of burger and fries (and sometimes chicken) actually tempts me to make a detour and enter the store to buy my dinner.

Designer: TBWA\Neboko and Raul & Rigel for McDonalds

There are just some food brands that triggers our olfactory nerves and makes us want to buy their products to satisfy this craving brought about by smell. McDonald’s believes they’re one of those brands and in Netherlands, they’re putting this to good, creative, and aromatic use. Their ad agency TBWA\Neboko worked with production company Raul&Rigel to put up a series of unbranded street billboards with just the red and yellow colors. When you pass by within 5 meters of them, you get to smell the distinct aroma of McDonald’s French Fries, hopefully triggering a craving.

These scented billboards actually have a hidden compartment in them to store the aforementioned fries. There’s also an internal heat and ventilation system that is responsible for intensifying this smell and tempt anyone passing by to get fries. Of course they are located strategically near a McDonald’s, 200 meters away in fact, so that you can sate that craving and get your favorite fries (and maybe other things) because of that billboard smell.

It’s a pretty creative way to take advantage of that feeling evoked in us when we smell something so distinct. It’s bad news though for people like me who are trying to stay away from carbs. Good thing that fries-scented billboard is only in the Netherlands, although passing by that McDonald’s every day is already temptation enough.