13 February 2008

Lick My Decals Off, Baby

Welch's is taking out full-page print ads in People this month that give readers a chance to sample its grape juice by licking the ad. (The ad will appear in the Feb. 18 issue of the magazine, which has a circulation of about 3.6 million)

The front of the advert shows a huge bottle of the juice, while the back has a strip that peels up and off, with text that reads: "For a TASTY fact, remove & LICK."


Marketers are excited about the prospects for lickable ads, but also have to deal with the "ick" factor. Since magazines are often passed from reader to reader (think doctors' offices!) there is a good chance that saliva could be left on the advert.

Readers are supposed to peel off the entire sticker on the Welch's ad before licking. A company called First Flavor developed the "technology" used in the ads and says if someone doesn't rip off the whole sticker the flap can't reseal, giving people an easy way to know whether the ad has already been licked. Kinda like that pop a bottle of Snapple makes to let you know the freshness has been unlocked.

First Flavor has been experimenting with how far it can push its "technology", and has created test adverts that taste like everything from cheese pizza to soy milk and children's cold medicines.

Could this mean Smell-O-Vision will make a comeback?

Smell-O-Vision was a system that released odors during the projection of a film so that the viewer could "smell" what was happening in the movie.

The technique was created by Hans Laube and made its only appearance in the 1960 film Scent of Mystery. The process injected 30 different smells into a movie theater's seats when triggered by the film's soundtrack.

In homage to Smell-O-Vision, crazy John Waters released an enhanced "Odorama" version of his film, Polyester in 1982. Waters included scratch and sniff cards that the audience could use while watching the movie.

This reminds me of the time Ron Grimaldi (now the singer of Deathcycle) licked the page of a zine that was allegedly covered in dried, watery shit while we were hanging out inside the old See Hear on St. Mark's. It was nasty but Ron lived to tell about it so I guess it wasn't anything too awful.

I remember my grandfather used to say one day magazines were going to stink like the garbage dump and now I see what he meant. The cacophony of men and womens parfum ads, lick and taste adds, etc. will create an awful stew.

It reminds me of Fat Bastard, "...Ooh, smells like carrots in throw-up! Oh that could gag a maggot! I smell like hot sick... ass in a dead carcass! Even stink would say that stinks! You know when you go into an apartment building and you smell the other people's cooking on each floor and you go "What are they cookin'?" That, plus crap!" And that's what Vogue will soon smell like, too.

Related: Marketers Salivate Over Lickable Ads {Wall Street Journal}

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lick My Decals Off, Baby by Captain Beefheart
1989 CD release on Rhino Records R2 70364
Now on Ebay 8 days 19 hours left
Item# 330355352077
Drift on over