Let Them Whiff Cake

In the latest entry in the scentvertising wars, The Los Angeles Times will run a full page ad for the Fox-Walden film Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium this coming Sunday. When scratched the ad will release “the universally beloved frosted cake scent,” The Times said in a statement.
The film starring Natalie Portman and Dustin Hoffman is about a magical toy store. The aroma is supposed to remind readers “to be young and have fun.”
In April, USA Today began a campaign in which readers could pull back a sticker on ads for a coffee-and-muffin deal at Omni Hotels and inhale the whiff of berries.
“Scent has the longest memory and is the most powerful emotional motivator, and that’s what advertising is all about,” said Carmine Santandrea, chief executive of ScentAndrea, a Santa Barbara scent-marketing company.
When the California Milk Processor Board pasted strips that smelled of chocolate chip cookies next to ads for milk in San Francisco bus shelters, people complained. The ads came down.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today, I'm the founder and creative director at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon. We bring integrated marketing solutions to our clients in healthcare, human services, real estate, fashion, outdoor recreation, and food and beverage.


  1. It’s a bandwagon that everyone is riding. The TV show “Cane” is advertising with Mojito Scented Strips. Sans alcohol, of course.
    KFC’s mailbag trick was cool, as was Pro Keds making sneakers that smell like cookies (and are named Cookies). Other than that, eh.