Editor's Note: Billboard-sized Smell-o-Vision

One of the more interesting things I’ve seen recently was a short article and picture on Gizmodo of a steak-scented billboard. Yes, you read that right. Steak-scented.

According to Adam Frucci, the author of the post on Gizmodo, a new billboard was erected in North Carolina promoting a new brand of beef at the local the Bloom grocery store chain. This billboard, however, is not your typical graphic. This one comes with its own scent. For most of the month of June, during rush hour in the morning and afternoon, the billboard will emit a steak-scented odor to lure motorists to the grocery store. A high-powered fan at the bottom of the billboard spreads the aroma by blowing air over cartridges loaded with fragrance oil.

You can read more about the billboard and see the pictures, if you follow this link: http://bit.ly/aQ46Ng.

Good idea? Bad idea? What do you think?

I do have to admit, that it’s an interesting concept. The graphics—from the steak to the fork holding it up—are really well done. I don't know if I’d ever seen or heard of a similar type of advertising campaign before.

I guess my first thought—beyond wishing it was a baked cookies or cake smell instead—would be regulations. Are there regulations on smells when it comes to advertising? I know there are some in regards to billboard placements and whatnot in each city. But what about advertising smells? I don’t even know where to begin to look for something like that.

So what would be next?

We’ve already seen interactive billboards where passersby can text messages to digital billboards and see them displayed in real time. Maybe scratch-and-sniff POP and POS graphics would be next. Or maybe we'd have air freshener advertising campaigns in subways during the heat of the summer, flooding the subway cars with a light tropical scent.

Some of the odd billboards and advertisements I’ve seen recently include a BMW billboard that was reported on by NBC Connecticut. In this ad, a a life-sized man and teddy bear are perched on top of an Interstate 95 billboard and have prompted drivers to dial 911 thinking they were going to fall off the sign.

Then there are the Quaker Oats “Go humans go” billboards. The scorned mistresses billboards in New York, Atlanta, and San Francisco. A Democratic lawmaker from Brooklyn, N.Y. created a billboard campaign to try to get young people to improve their image by raising their saggy pants. I think that might be the “Stop the Pants on the Ground” campaign.

I have to ask: what are some of the craziest or most unique graphics you've either seen or created? I’d love to know. If you have images and a story, drop me a line at denise@wide-formatimaging.com. That would certainly make for an interesting story in an upcoming issue.

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