From enticing cinnamon-apple, bacon, and chocolate to calming lavender, eucalyptus and ocean breeze to the harder-to-define baby, Christmas Day and rainforest, smells conjure a variety of feelings and memories. With customers expecting evermore exciting and entertaining experiences, SensoryCo provides realistic scent effects to heighten the experiential quality of theme park, museum, theater and marketing endeavors.
The Emotion of Scents
Research shows that scents are strongly tied to memories and emotions. Olfactory receptors are connected directly to the limbic system in the brain, which is thought to be the center of emotion. This close connection is why vivid memories may come flooding back when you smell a particular scent, such as a whiff of fresh chocolate chip cookies remind you of your grandmother who often baked when you were young. In fact, many of our likes and dislikes are tied to emotional associations. Familiar scents can conjure immediate responses including happy memories and general good feelings related to those times.
As our culture becomes more sophisticated, customers expect more from almost every experience…more information, more excitement, more thrills. As various businesses compete for customers and visitors, they must remain on the cutting edge with the newest forms of experiential technology. Scent effects have become an integral part of experiences at amusement parks, museums, theaters and even marketing strategy.
Making Scents in Marketing
Traditional marketing is no longer enough to make a lasting impression on savvy customers. Companies are incorporating a variety of techniques to create a more experiential connection, including scent effects. Retail stores often infuse their shops with aromas found to be connected with good memories or particular to their product or lifestyle and food shops are known to waft the smells of their products onto passing consumers to lure them in (yes, often these are actually artificially created smells to “waft better”). Scent effects are also becoming more common at trade shows or other display opportunities. Experiential marketing combines audio visual, tactile or other physical components with smells to create an immersive experience, which helps to connect a product, service or brand with specific memories or other emotions.
Experiential 4D Theaters
Movies and shows without special effects are becoming passé, and cutting edge attractions are incorporating smell effects into their presentations for a more immersive experience. SensoryCo has worked closely with many attractions to create a more experiential 4D theater. With impressive imagery on screen and state-of-the-art audio, adding related smells takes the experience to the next level. Imagine a jungle scene with mountain gorillas foraging in the plants while the smells of the rainforest, wet and musky, surround you. Or with the scene of the great volcano at Yellowstone National Park, the sulfuric scents of volcanic activity allow visitors to “lose themselves” in this truly immersive theater experience.
Fully Themed Attractions
Even at the most exciting amusement parks, visitors continue to expect more novelty. Very few rides are without some kind of theme and adding smell effects sets the “scene” of the ride. Whether it be swampy and creepy for a dinosaur ride or sugary and sweet for a children’s attraction, those smells drifting through the area spark the connections in our brains to create a more immersive experience. Simulator rides take this idea to the next level, using a variety of sensory effects to “trick” the mind into a virtual reality, believing you are immersed in the scene. Smells of the ocean breeze, blooming flowers or even gasoline or smoke in an extreme adventure get the rider lost in the experience.
Finding Scents in Museums
Strolling through a museum, visitors expect to see amazing examples of historical artifacts and other unique exhibits. You may also press a button to hear recorded sounds of birdsong or other animal noises. In an effort to create even more participatory learning, SensoryCo is partnering with museums to add the next dimension – smell effects – to exhibits. In unique displays, museums have combined the visual aspects with specific aromas to conjure memories, emotions and understanding for a more comprehensive experience. A “baby boomer” exhibit uses the smell of fresh cut grass to generate memories of 50s suburbia and incense sparks images of freedom and non-conformity. For older visitors, aromas may spark memories while younger visitors get a full sensory interpretation.
From boosting moods to boosting sales, incorporating scents can be a powerful addition when developing an immersive experience. Research continues to reinforce the power of scent effects, from sparking memories, to creating connections and setting the scent to even improving learning. SensoryCo is an innovative leader in scenting systems and aromas, working with theme parks and attractions, museums and a variety of businesses to create custom aromas for the most immersive, and memorable, experiences.