McDonald’s Announces Billboards Scented Like Fries

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Fiona McLoughlin Contributor
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McDonald’s unveiled a new billboard in the Netherlands Monday that apparently smells like their iconic French fries.

Plain red and yellow billboards were placed in Leiden and Utrecht, according to a McDonald’s press release. While the billboards appear empty, when you get closer to them you’re greeted with the smell of the fast food chain’s fries.

The boards were “strategically” placed near the restaurants, allowing for those passing by to satisfy their cravings, the release noted.

“For decades, McDonald’s has seduced taste buds around the globe, making it one of the most beloved and recognizable brands out there. But the brand realized that there’s something just as memorable for consumers as their golden arches, products, or jingle: their smell,” the press release stated.

“Smell has been proven to be more effective at sparking clear and emotional memories than images,” Stijn Mentrop-Huliselan, the McDonald’s Netherlands CMO, said in the press release. “With the inclusion of this next sense in our advertising, we found a new way to remind people of Good Times at McDonald’s.”

In a promotional video about the billboards, a McDonald’s employee can be seen loading a tray of fries into the billboard, which officials say ventilators are then used to “suck and diffuse” the scent of the fries in order to give the billboard a smell.

“It’s the first billboard where the smell becomes the ad,” according to the video. (RELATED: McDonald’s Announces Limited Run Of Double Big Mac Burger).

People can be seen going up to the billboard in the video, trying to determine what it’s promoting. Many began to recognize the smell, saying it smelled just like the fries. One passerby noted, “It smells like a Happy Meal.”

“When every brand is targeting eyeballs, McDonald’s targets noses,” the press release stated.