But the truth is, it's our sense of smell.
The smell of fresh popped popcorn. 'Nuff said.
I can smell something that reminds me of a former girlfriend and time will stop as memories rebuild themselves in my mind, enabling me to live those days again if only for a moment. You can have a will of iron about making your Lenten sacrifice of no meat, but if the scent of a hamburger hits your nostrils, you have a struggle between your will power and your desires taking over.
Restaurants are aware of how smells can simply weave around all kinds of resistance, and make sure they ride that wave if they can. And those that don't still find ways.
The key thing about advertising is you can't be subtle. Subtlety gets you ignored. And while there are plenty of places to test market concepts in the US like Atlanta and Ohio, if you want to try experimental advertising, Brazil is where you want to go. Among the products tested there were Huggies diapers that were wifi-enabled (they sent a Twitter message to you when the kid filled the diaper) and Budweiser "buddy cups," wifi-enabled beer mugs that, when you clinked with another Buddy Cup, you two automatically friended each other on Facebook. And you thought serial adders were bad.
Domino's Pizza finds itself in an odd position. Few people don't love pizza. Most people can be sold on a pie very easily. But if you are a delivery place, how do you trigger that suggestion when not only are people not in your kitchen, but live miles away so they can't smell it outside of the building? Well, the people in Brazil have come up with an idea. They have partnered with ten DVD rental stores to rent special DVD's. These discs have a special ink on them. The laser and electronics in a DVD player can get quite warm. The heat causes the ink to release a scent like fresh pizza. If it doesn't waft out of the player, you get hit with a full blast when you open the disc tray to remove the disc. Oh, and the heat also darkens the ink so that it spells out a message -- "Did you enjoy the movie? The next one will be even better with a hot and delicious Domino's Pizza."
The test just started rolling out this week. How will we know if it's a hit?
...keep watching the RedBox.