Sensory Advertisement

Pepsi, Coke or Solo? It took me about 3 seconds to think of these drinks. I’m guessing because I have been exposed to them since I was born, and in this context, we are (on average) exposed to approximately 1200 advertisements per day. But surprisingly we only remember 3% of these advertisements. (Lindstorm 2006)

Does this mean that you have basically no chance of getting through to an audience? That there is just a 3% bet with your million-dollar advertising budget to which it may fail? Probably, to an extent, but there potential strategies in which campaigns and brands can make themselves stand out from the rest. I have a deep hatred for Rivers ads (with the annoying 30 second pauses), although they always find a way to make us pay attention. They call this sensory adaption. Perception is the process by which an individual selects, organizes, and interprets stimuli into a meaningful and coherent picture of the world. Every one perceives life differently, and this notion applies with advertising too. (Walls & Schumann 2001)
I came across a post on Facebook that grabbed my attention by US brand ‘Air Aroma’. It was an advertisement that sold diffusers to scent stores; with flavours ranging from sweet strawberries to rich coffee. For me, there is nothing worse than going into a store that just smells horrible and I often feel sorry for the stores you walk into that are starting to smell like rubbish or a sewerage disaster is nearby. This idea for me was genius, because not only could these businesses receive publicity or word-of-mouth from the scents itself, but also the Air Aroma brand could benefit from consumers wanting this in their own homes. This sensory adaption is often used often (not just with smell but also our other 4 sensory receptors as well) in marketing or advertisement. I think that by treating our senses, it can create more of a natural trust and instinct for us to WANT to interact or consume these brands. (Brereton 2016 & Cobos 2012)

Next time you notice your senses tingling after watching an advertisement, just remember it is no accident!

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  • Brereton, L 2016, Learning and Involvement, Lecture Notes Week 6, MARK217, UOW, Delivered 7th April 2016.
  • Lindstrom, M 2006, Brand Sense: How to Build Powerful Brands Through Touch, Taste, Smell, Sight and Sound, Strategic Direction, Vol. 22.
  • Cobos, H 2012, Sensory Marketing and Branding: The power of senses, More Than Branding.
  • Walls, S & Schumann D 2001, Measuring the Customer’s Perception of the Bond Between the Consumer and the Company, AMA Educator’s Conference Proceedings, vol.12, pp. 388-400.

Marketing Strategies Based on Information Search Patterns

Marketing strategies should consider the information search that consumers engage with prior to their purchases. There are 2 variables within a search that are essential in understanding the decision making process: the type of decision making which influences the level of the search and the type of evoked set which drives the direction of the search.

Last year Dettol recently released a social marketing video called Dettol’s Happy Hand washing Song that promotes children to wash their hands, featuring the cast of Lah Lah’s Big Live Band (a popular children’s television show). The clip does not tell kids to use Dettol’s products, but the product placement (of Dettol’s hand wash) suggests the promotion of its’ products. (Dettol Australia 2015)

The maintenance strategy was used by Dettol to maintain the current purchase behaviour of Dettol’s target market. Dettol used the reinforcement strategy to remind consumers of the benefits that Dettol’s soap obtains. The brand has been within the evoked set of millions of Australian’s for 80 years, and this strategy was used to confirm that their products are superior, which is reinforced by the high-profile ambassadors whom feature in their video. (2016)

There has always been an open discussion about whether advertising to children is ethical. When I came across the video, I assumed that due to the promotion of heath, that it was ethical, but when I thought about the habitual decision making that FMCG’s obtain, I re-thought about whether it was ethical to use children’s ‘characters’ to promote Dettol products. (Brereton 2016 & Calvet 2008)

Habitual decision-making is the decision making or problem solving that requires only minimal search for, and evaluation of alternatives. Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children are healthy, which includes buying products that their family needs. Soap is one of these essential products and is one that is purchased habitually. Due to this decision making process, I began to wonder why they were targeting children if they are not purchasing the product.

The debate of whether advertising to children is ethical will always exist, but in this instance, I believe that ethically Dettol has created an effective advertisement, which has worked in part to maintain its’ position in the market. (Rose 1999)


  • Brereton, L 2016, Social and Family Influences on Consumer Behaviour, Lecture Week 10, UOW, viewed 13th May 2016.
  • Calvet, S 2008, Children as Consumers: Advertising and Marketing, Children and Electronic Media, vol.18.
  • Dettol Australia 2015, Dettol Happy Handwashing Song, YouTube, viewed 10th May 2016,
  • Evoked Set Strategies, Information Search, Week 3 Reading, viewed 17th March 2016.
  • Rose, G 1999, Consumer Socialization, Parental Style, and Development Timetables in the United States and Japan, Journal of Marketing, vol.63, pp.105-19.

Humour In Advertising

Humour has the ability to make communication strategies amusing or funny to its’ audience. Having a sense of humour provides benefits, such as; energy and obtaining a sense of well being through the stimulus of chemicals, such as endorphins and adrenaline. (Bergeron & Vachon 2008)

The Atlantic raise the question as to why advertisers use humour within their advertising. They then answered the question with this statement, “The first trick of advertisement is to make people pay attention. Funny ads attract attention”. They also ask us, to ask ourselves, “To what extent are the videos we share via social networks funny”? I know for me, the statistic wouldn’t be far from 100%. They suggest that a further benefit of humour is that if you have already watched the video, you are more likely to be happy to watch it again, compared to a non-humorous advertisement. I know that I often share humorous content with the caption “ Found it again!” to share with my friends on Facebook. (Hollis 2011)

Humour can be used to attract consumers’ attention, and if developed well, it can be effective in influencing attitudes. This attitude is aimed to then transition from merely the humorous advertisement, to the overall brand.

Often, the aim of humorous advertisement is to create viral marketing. Marketers often end up being ‘over-funny’ which either results in an un-funny advertisement, or the message gets lost due to the audience focusing on the funny aspects, and forgetting the brand. I know that I am often trying to explain a hilarious advertisement to my classmates and find myself not being able to name which brand produced it, and having to Google the attributes to find the answer.

When using the reinforcement perspective, humour becomes effective when it is tied closely to the offering. (Madden & Weinberger 1986)

Earlier this year I worked with Budweiser at a Super Bowl event and actually enjoyed the advertisement more than the half time show. My favourite was First Date by Hyundai with their hilarious advertisement, promoting the new Hyundai Genesis starring Kevin Heart, which depicts a protective Dad stalking his daughter’s date, thanks to the “Car Finder” feature accessible via the Blue Link application on his smart watch. (Keihm 2016 & Hyundai USA 2016)

The father is able to sabotage and watch over his daughter with the GPS feature, and humour is used to gain the attention of the audience. In this instance, the advertisement is tied closely to the offering.

I found this hilarious as it reminded me of my father’s attitude towards my first date, and I am sure that many other women and fathers felt the same. I feel as though the advertisement had excellent brand recall and recognition, which essentially results in a successful advertisement.


  • Bergeron, J & Vachon, M.A 2008, The Effects of Humour Usage by Financial Advisors in Sales Encounters, International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol.26, pp. 376-98.
  • Hollis, N 2011, Why Funny TV Commercials Work, viewed 6th May 2016,
  • Hyundai USA 2016, First Date- Hyundai Super Bowl Commercial, YouTube, viewed 6th May 2016,
  • Keihm, M 2016, WATCH: Kevin Hart Super Bowl Commercial Hyundai Genesis ‘First Date’, Heavy, viewed 6th May 2016.
  • Madden & Weinberger 1986, Effective Television Advertising, Humour in Advertising, Lexington.