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Multisensory Marketing: Experience the Sound of Taste

Have you ever said a word and had it leave a taste in your mouth? Or looked at a picture of a recipe and been able to smell the spices? This phenomenon is called “synesthesia” and is defined as “the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body,” which is a fancy way of saying that one sense inspires another sense. Not everyone experiences this sensation naturally, but it can make experiences and even memories so much more immersive.

As marketers, we’re in the business of designing brand experiences. However, so often we confine these creations to a single sense — think an engaging infographic or a catchy jingle. But why is this the standard? Why not go beyond that?

One of our network partners, Grey London, recently(ish) designed a poster for a spice brand that transcends a single human sense to create an incredibly vivid multisensory experience. And I love it.

Take a second to watch the case study.

http://vimeo.com/90653961

The task provided was to express the flavors of different spices in a visual manner — for example, what would the flavor of rosemary look like as opposed to curry? Then, to go one step further, the agency added a digital component and used conductive ink to associate each spice with a musical chord. The poster utilized Bluetooth to connect to a mobile website that leveraged smartphone speakers to play the sound. This way, when a person interacted with the poster, he or she would be met with a beautiful auditory and visual expression of flavor. Now, unless you’re a major foodie (guilty as charged), you probably don’t often think about the depth of flavors that spice can add to a dish or the color it can bring out, but this campaign really brings a lot of vibrancy to a seemingly commonplace product.

This one tactic actually has a multitude of implications for those of us who are concerned with building truly integrated experiences. The last few years have been full of marketing pundits debating things like whether print is dead, but, as this example shows, no medium is ever truly dead. You simply have to build on traditional channels to create new ideas. You don’t need me to tell you that the best campaigns leverage a variety of different mediums to tell a story. Not only does this give your brand reach, it also provides opportunity for variety in both visuals and messages.

Now, though, technology has allowed us to connect these tools, and the lines continue to blur every day. The overly used and widely hated QR code started this trend of allowing you to enhance a print piece with a digital component. Augmented reality followed close behind, though the results were often gimmicky. And it doesn’t stop with print. Comcast introduced clickable TV ads a few years back. Radio is throwing in hashtags and urls to use with social media. Video games use physical add-ons for new in-game content. And, of course, digital has allowed us not only to enhance our advertising, but also to measure it.

As technologies continue to develop, we marketers will be lucky enough to leverage them to bring new life to brands and help connect them to the people they serve. Despite some questionable executions in the past, there are endless possibilities to bring interactivity, immersion, and integration to a campaign … we just have to be creative enough to think up the ideas!

 

What are your favorite examples of innovative integrated marketing? Share them in the comments section below!

 

Source: Fast Company

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