Presentation on theme: "Aroma and Persuasion “I love the smell of napalm in the morning…”"— Presentation transcript:
1 Aroma and Persuasion “I love the smell of napalm in the morning…” Lt. Colonel Bill Kilgore, Apocalypse Now
2 Smell is multifaceted Odor “means” many things. It functions as: a boundary-marker, distance maintainera status symbola method of identity managementa cultural marker
3 Aroma: the neglected child in the persuasion family Smell is the one sense you can’t turn offSmell, fragrance, and aroma are neglected in communication researchfew scholarly articles on the role of fragrancesmells not viewed as symbol usageSmell and “real world” persuasionperfumes, fragrance insertsair freshenerscleaners, deodorizersambient aromas (Baron, 1997)
4 The Olfactory System Smell is our most primitive sense part of the limbic system (emotional center of the brain)nasal passage is “hard-wired” to the brainAverage persons’ sense of smell is pooronly able to identify scents by namewomen are better at distinguishing smells than men30-50 scents can be identified with practice.People have poor smell vocabulariesScents are often defined in terms of other senses (e.g., sweet, smoky, nutty, fruity)
5 The role of smell in human relationships By 4-6 weeks, infants can discriminate between their mother’s scent and a stranger (Russell, 1976; Schleidt & Genzel, 1990)Almost everyone has experienced a situation in which a smell evoked a nostalgic memoryImportance of smell in daily relationships (Olfactory Research Fund, 1999):opposite sex: 76% very importantspouse: 74% very importantfamily: 35% very importantfriends: 36% very importantco-workers: 39% very important
6 More on the role of smell in human relationships Preferences for smells are highly idiosyncratic, or individualized.There is probably no universal agreement on what smells good or badAmericans’ disdain for body odor, breath odorcow dung as a hair care product in AfricaCulture and social conditioning teach individuals what smells to like or dislike.Liver and onions, meat cooking, ethnic foodsGender and smell: a double standard?
7 The Fragrance Industry Fragrance industry nets $20 billion annuallycolognes and after-shaves alone net $4.4 billion per year (Ortega & McCartney, 1994)naming or labeling a smell affects how the smell is perceived, hence the sensual, exotic names given to perfumes.The attractiveness of the container affects the perceived pleasantness of the smellThe fragrance industry is selling romancemarketing themes associated with fragrances revolve around images of romance, intrigue, sensuality, sexiness
8 Branding with Fragrance Samsung Electronics introduced the fragrance, Intimate Blue, to its flagship store in New York City.The Park Hyatt Washington, D.C., pumps a scent into the lobby using atomizersThe new official fragrance of Omni Hotels is a blend of lemongrass and green tea.
9 Fragrances and persuasion No clear consensus on whether fragrances increase attraction or arousalat best, scent is only part of the attraction equationFragrance as a peripheral cue--may reinforce, alter, enhance affective responsespositive or negative mood statesrecall of memories, experiences
10 Scents and persuasion Ambient aromas and consumer behavior (Crow, 1993) Nike shoe studyHelping behaviorBaron (1997) effect of ambient aromas on helping behavior at a shopping mallShoppers at a mall were more than twice as likely to help a stranger in the presence of pleasant odors like roasting coffee or baking cookies.Driving behaviorBaron & Kalsher (1998) examined the impact of a pleasant fragrance on driving behavior. Performance was significantly improved in the fragrance condition.Medical applications of aroma(Jellinek, 1994) pleasant aromas can reduce anxiety and stress associated with medical tests MRIs, CAT scans, etc.)
11 Fragrance limitations Smells are subjective: People don’t always agree on what smells good (liver & onions?)People may become desensitized to, or oversensitized, to smells.Fragrances can backfire: Job applicants whose resumes were fragranced were less likely to be called for an interview (Sczesny & Stahlberg, 2002). Masculine fragrance were superior to feminine fragrances for male and female applicants, but the “no fragrance” condition was best of all.