The Bright Future of Advertising: Multisensory Marketing

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The Bright Future of Advertising: Multisensory Marketing

Sep 25, 2018

When it comes to marketing a product, no matter what its benefits, the limitations become obvious after a while. Take, for example, this moment right now. You are simply reading words on a page, but in the end all I am to you is just words. You are aware of your body, what the air smells like; maybe you’re holding a hot cup of coffee or listening to the radio.

Maybe if I was in front of you now, talking to you, you would have a better experience of this article. You would be able to see my pupils constrict and dilate, you would be able to reach out and shake my hand, you would be able to hear my accent and discern where I’m from. A real world experience that utilises every one of your senses beats out a singular sense experience every time. But what if a business could transcend the screen, page, billboard and engage you in a real-world encounter that wasn’t purely visual or auditory?

That is the vision of multisensory marketing.

So what is it?

Multisensory marketing or multisensory brand experience aims to fill a gap in the traditional marketing strategy. It is a type of advertising that forms itself as a positive image in the human mind to increase perceived value of a product. It does this by triggering more than just one sense, sometimes it aims to trigger all of them.

A hugely successful business model that utilises multisensory marketing is Abercrombie and Fitch, the US based fashion retailer. They are the subject of many jokes on various TV shows poking fun at how dark the store is and how you come out smelling of their unique scent, but actually this is a very clever multisensory marketing ploy. Not only are you visually and texturally experiencing the fashion, you are being guided by strategic lighting to specific areas of the store, the usually ice-cold air-conditioning is making your arms break out in goosebumps, you are listening to on trend, thumping music that almost vibrates under your feet and you are breathing in their best-selling male cologne. Maybe you came out of the store making fun of the strange atmosphere, but that means you were thinking of it even after you exited. Every Abercrombie and Fitch location sets itself up in a similar way, meaning that they have a multisensory brand signature and they must owe a portion of their huge turnover and still-relevant popularity to this marketing strategy.

On a smaller scale that anyone can recognize, can you remember when the dentist gave you a lollipop or your doctor kept a bowl of sweets at the reception? To this day I remember the plate of chocolate chip cookies that rested at the front desk of my childhood nursery, ready to calm any crying child. They were all ways of familiarising you positively with a potentially frightening experience; you may have even asked to go back to the dentist all whilst thinking of the lollipop.

From virtual reality experiences by The North Face and Nissan to Boursin using fans and scents to ‘transport’ you through a fridge (which increased product popularity from 19% to 36%), it seems that the future of marketing is multisensory. With industries being saturated by the same products and companies that seem identical in nature and brand story, a multisensory marketing campaign can really save an industry and open the door to a new generation of consumers.

In as little as five years we could all be using multisensory marketing to target customers and to make ourselves stand out from the crowd just as we used to use the written word. This new wave of innovative advertising could cause all of us to rethink our conventional marketing models with businesses going the extra mile to arouse new interest in their company.

To find out how you can take your company to the next level, don’t hesitate to contact us or give us a call on 0800 6447070.

Category: Creativity

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