J&J ad: Marketers wake up to the draw of sensory branding
Leading dailies turn up at doorsteps with their pages infused with the smell of Johnson & Johnson baby powder
Indian newspapers came out smelling like babies on Wednesday morning.
Leading dailies such as The Times of India, The Hindu, Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi turned up at doorsteps with their pages infused with the smell of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) baby powder.
The idea was to use print media innovation to drive the thing that instantly marks out the company’s product—the baby smell.
The innovation showed that Indian marketers are slowly waking up to the draw of sensory branding—which appeals to the senses of scent, touch, sound and even taste.
In 2010, auto maker Volkswagen India put out an audio ad in The Times of India, so when readers opened the newspaper, it spoke to them about the car.
High-end fashion magazines have carried ads for perfumes, with perfumed strips that consumers can smell. Mall owners and hotels are also known to use fragrances to draw consumers.
It took the newspapers and Johnson & Johnson India almost a month to work out Wednesday’s baby smell campaign.
The trademark fragrance was supplied by the company to the publishers who then used a special technology to infuse it—with great care, so as not to spoil newsprint—into the ink that is used in the paper.
One of the publishers then ran a pilot in Mumbai, which was then later replicated across other publications and cities.