Ever wondered what that smell was around your local bus shelter? Are you sure you want to know?
Well, if you live in York, Manchester, London, Nottingham and Glasgow then your bus shelter’s customary pong could soon be changing… to the alluring and mystifying scent of baked potatoes.
It’s all part of an elaborate advertising campaign which is taking the customary ‘adshel’ poster ad and making it part of a whole new multi-dimensional experience.
It’s all thanks to McCain Foods who have launched a series of adverts to promote their new McCain Ready Baked Jackets, but have taken the unusual step of adding an element of inter-activity to the whole thing.
Instead of just looking longingly at the poster, bus users will be able to press a button which will not only dispense a handy money-off voucher but also the subtle smell of slow oven-baked potatoes.
The bus shelter posters contain a hidden heating element which warms the 3D jacket potato on the poster and releases the scent when a button is pressed.
The company spent three months developing the baked potato smell with a specialist scent laboratory to ensure that it truly matched the scent of the real thing. And presumably another three months trying to fit a heating element to a bus shelter without causing the whole thing to burst into flames.
A spokesman for McCain Foods explained: "3D jacket potatoes will appear at bus shelters across York , Manchester , London , Nottingham and Glasgow to heat up the nation and set taste buds tingling, thanks to ground-breaking technology.
"When consumers press a button, a hidden heating element gently warms the potato and releases the mouth-watering aroma of a slow oven-baked jacket potato throughout the bus shelter."
Sound’s harmless enough. Unless…
If you are anything like me, then there is nothing quite as delicious as a baked potato after a night spent gently easing down the odd pint of beer. But think about this – you’re standing at a bus stop late at night, lightly topped up with ale and with a beer-induced hunger gently crawling up your throat. Suddenly, there is the gentle scent of freshly baked potatoes wafting all around you and absolutely nowhere to buy one... Hey, anybody fancy tearing this bus shelter apart to ease the frustration?
I hope McCain’s know what they’re doing…