Stop and Smell the Kiosk

Improving on the “scratch here” scented panels in magazine ads, NCR is taking olfactory stimulation to the next level to help marketers get their merchandise under the noses of customers.

NCR says its Web Kiosk uses the power of aroma to allow consumers to experience products from a truly multidimensional perspective. In addition to showing what products look and sound like, the kiosk uses Aerome scent technology to demonstrate how products smell, too. As users touch the kiosk’s screen, the Aerome Scent Generator is triggered if the product selected has a scent component.

“The sense of smell is a primal one for humans that hasn’t been fully tapped for merchandising and marketing,” says Brian Sullivan, vice-president of NCR Canada’s retail solutions group.

The first public demonstration in Canada of NCR’s Web Kiosk took place last month in Toronto at Grocery Showcase Canada ’99. Among the aromas available to be sniffed were perfume, orange juice, ice cream and pop.

Other NCR suggestions on how scent can be used to market products include: the aroma of ripe peaches to promote a special offer in the produce department or bakery; and the smell of freshly cut grass to sell a lawn mower.

Pricing for the Web Kiosk, with six scents included, is estimated to start at $12,000. More information can be found at