Companies experiment with “multisensory branding”

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The Future. Brands are beginning to play with a “multisensory marketing” strategy — marketing that engages a customer’s five senses — to help people better engage with and recall their advertising. The trend may inspire ad agencies to hire mixologists, chefs, and musicians to join their creative ranks.

Taste, touch, feel, spend
Mastercard is one of the many brands exploring the possibilities of multisensory marketing.

  • For touch, it rolled out “touch cards” with notches that are meant to help the visually impaired.
  • For sight, it refreshed its logo to make the distinctive red and yellow circles more visually appealing… and even took out the brand name.
  • For sound, it recorded a 1.3-second sound that plays at hundreds of millions of point-of-sale terminals when a Mastercard is used.
  • For smell, it developed two fragrances — Priceless Passion and Priceless Optimism — which come in red and yellow bottles.
  • For taste, it opened restaurants in cities like NYC, Rome, and Hong Kong and even crafted unique macarons and cocktails (again, in red and yellow).

Gabriel Miller, president of branding consultancy Landor, who helped Mastercard (and BMW and Philadelphia Cream Cheese) with several marketing innovations, says, “agencies must invest in more than just design as brands are no longer confined to a visual identity alone.”

Soon, if your brand doesn’t have a signature cocktail, it may be irrelevant.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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