Menu Contact us
  • En-Fr
Smell is an inescapable sense that helps gauge our surroundings and triggers an instinctual and emotional response. It comes as no surprise that in saturated ad environments, scent is an effective form of communication that builds campaign receptiveness, memorability and brand recall, but how?

The Science behind Scent marketing

Scent is a powerful marketing supplement that enhances visual campaigns and is proven to boost sales. It has been shown that the use of scent in marketing can raise the perception of brand messaging by 19% (Starch Advertising Research) and boost sales by 10% (University of St Gallen). Furthermore, scientists believe that when we see an image, we remember it for longer if we associate it with a smell.

Scent solutions in OOH

Thanks to its real-life presence, OOH is a natural choice for scent-enabled campaigns, while integrating scent makes campaigns stand out further among the wholly visual executions. Adding sound, sight and taste elements can create an even more powerful, fully immersive multi-sensory experience. It is important to remember that experience is what gives scent meaning and creates memories, so it is essential to choose the right scent that is harmonious with the brand messaging and visuals.

Scent activation in OOH

Brands’ objectives in using scent will depend on the product category. However, for all categories, using scent takes campaigns to the next level of immersive experience, which triggers consideration and purchase intent. Activation can be achieved in a variety of ways depending on the campaign goal:

- Timed dispensers create an immersive and surprising experience that builds awareness
- Buttons or touchscreen CTAs encourage active brand engagement that boosts recall and consideration
- Activation via mobile or apps drives to online, generates traffic and can be used to build user lists


Food brands use scent to raise awareness of a new product and give the audience a brief experience of the product. Smart campaign placement (whether geographically via proximity networks, or time-wise through dynamic DOOH) will stimulate the taste buds and drive to store nearby.


Trial and sampling are paramount to fragrance campaigns, making scent-enabled executions the perfect fit. Similarly, brands with scent features like household goods, have equally benefitted from scent dispensers.

Travel & tourism

The tourism industry has been known to use scent activated campaigns to transport audiences to destinations. Smells of the ocean or forest that trigger positive and relaxing thoughts trigger associative and emotional reaction to a brand.

Discover below some of our favourite examples of how brands used scent to deliver messaging in unique and memorable ways.

Want to know more?


Would you like to learn more about JCDecaux Creative Solutions?