Glancing at the title you might think this post is about food, but you are wrong. It is about recent advertising that has caught my attention and sparked my interest. This post is also inspired by two articles: The Charlotte Observer’s “Eau de marketing, with hint of pepper” by Jen Aronoff and The Wall Street Journal’s “Does America Really Want More $2 Bills?” by Sudeep Reddy. First, with the introduction of new $2 combo meals at Taco Bell came their full-page newspaper ad in USA Today that featured a letter to the Federal Reserve. The letter requested that the Federal Reserve circulate more $2 bills, which have not been in circulation since 2006, ‘to meet the pending demand.’ It even spawned a petition. I find this approach to be very bold. The question is this: Is it too much to ask? Well, it is a nice thought that the Federal Reserve would go along with this, and perhaps it could happen, but my prediction is that since there is not much demand it will not happen. It is a clever request to be sure and definitely something that catches people’s attention, which should lead to more word of mouth for their campaign and increased sales.
The second thing that caught my attention was the article about the billboard for Bloom grocery chain that is designed to emit a smell evoking a grilled steak with a pepper rub. Let me say first off that it is refreshing to see a reinvention of the billboard. What an interesting way to draw people in with your advertising and make it work better for you. Of course, like any initial venture, there are downsides that the author notes in this article. The main ones being that the smell does not travel far enough and that the weather can alter or erase the smell or its effect. It sounds as though the technology is in phase one and that there are further improvements needed to make it more effective. Aside from that, what an inventive idea. Both of these are interesting ads. For Taco Bell, an interesting ploy, and for Bloom, their version of the billboard could be a trend to watch for in the future.