- Posted June 2, 2010 by
Mooresville, North Carolina
Beef scented billboard erected by NC grocery store
Commuters on River Highway (N.C. 150) near Lake Norman in Mooresville may find a new aroma commingling with exhaust fumes: The smell of grilled steak, coming from a billboard designed to entice shoppers by appealing to a sense other than sight.
The Bloom grocery store chain, part of Food Lion, erected the giant sign at 1220 River Highway, between a Shell gas station and a storage facility, to promote its new brand of beef. It'll disperse the scent during rush hour, from 7 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m., every day until June 18, and is visible to drivers heading west, toward Catawba County. It pairs the smell with a big visual, showing a giant piece of steak and a French fry on a giant fork, and is one of the first of its kind in the country.
Bloom worked on the campaign with Charlotte advertising agency Birdsong Gregory and Charlotte-based ScentAir, a leading scent marketing and branding company. ScentAir normally focuses on applying scents to indoor environments, so the outdoor space proved a bigger challenge, the company said.
Though plenty of businesses are using scents to create ambiance and enhance their selling atmosphere, schnoz-targeted ads in public places are fairly rare. The most prominent example crumbled after one day in 2006, amid concern that the smell could provoke allergic reactions and otherwise irritate passers-by. In that case, the California Milk Processing board placed chocolate chip cookie-scented strips in selected San Francisco bus shelters. For its part, Bloom said it hadn't received any complaints and that its steak scent is safe.