'Wall Street Journal' to Offer 'Rub 'n Sniff' Ads

Going Beyond Perfume to Find Scent Possibilities, like New Money

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- And you thought the Small Street Journal was a new experience. The Wall Street Journal is on the verge of offering scented print-ad units that will appear on the regular pages of the paper. The technology takes "scratch 'n sniff" to a more refined level -- think "rub and sniff."
Ahh...that new money smell.
Ahh...that new money smell.

"You actually have to rub some part of the ad," said L. Gordon Crovitz, publisher, The Wall Street Journal. "This won't be like the early days of magazine ads, where you picked it up and felt like you were walking through Bloomingdale's and spritzing you."

Only inserts until now
The scented Wall Street Journal won't be the first olfactory offering among newspapers. But until now, broadsheets and tabloids have only been able to convey scents the way magazines do: by adding glossy inserts with flaps readers must open to reach the scent strips inside.

The paper is still working out the details, including the technology. "I believe that our colleagues have perfected chocolate and perfume," Mr. Crovitz said. "You can quote me saying we encourage Ad Age readers to suggest scents that might be appropriate. One of my colleagues suggested new money."

The Journal hasn't started discussing the possibilities with advertisers yet, but MediaWorks can imagine a few. How about that new car smell? Leather? Whiskey? Cigars? An ocean breeze for Caribbean island ads? In any case, it appears there's more than one way for a newspaper to get interactive.

The Journal probably won't be alone for long. A spokeswoman for USA Today said the paper is preparing to test a similar, scented run-of-press ad product.
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