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The World's First Scented Billboard by McDonald's

Picture this: You're strolling down the bustling streets of the Netherlands, minding your own business, when suddenly, a familiar aroma wafts through the air. Is that... could it be? The unmistakable scent of McDonald's fries tantalizing your senses, drawing you in like a magnet.

But wait, you're not outside a McDonald's restaurant. In fact, you're standing in front of a seemingly ordinary billboard, devoid of any flashy logos or enticing offers. Yet, against all odds, the aroma persists, teasing your taste buds and tempting you to follow your nose.

 McDonald's French Fry Scented Billboard
Photo: McDonald's French Fry Scented Billboard By: McDonald's / TBWA\Neboko

This intriguing scenario isn't the plot of a surreal dream; it's the ingenious creation of McDonald's latest advertising stunt: the world's first scented billboard. AdWeek reports that these billboards, strategically placed in high-traffic areas, are designed to emit the mouthwatering fragrance of McDonald's fries, captivating unsuspecting passersby and leaving them craving a taste of the iconic snack.

Crafted by Amsterdam-based agency TBWA\Neboko in collaboration with production company Raúl&Rigel, these billboards are a testament to the power of sensory marketing. With hidden compartments containing the coveted fries and an internal heating and ventilation system, the billboards create an immersive olfactory experience, luring people in with the promise of indulgence.

What's particularly intriguing about this unconventional advertising tactic is its transient nature. Unlike traditional campaigns, these scented billboards aren't meant to be a permanent fixture of the urban landscape. Instead, they serve as a captivating experiment, capturing the reactions of unsuspecting individuals as they encounter the unexpected aroma of McDonald's fries in unexpected places.

Dubbed "Smells Like McDonald's," this experiment was more than just a clever gimmick; it was a testament to the enduring power of scent in evoking memories and emotions. As Stijn Mentrop-Huliselan, CMO of McDonald's Netherlands, aptly puts it, "Smell has been proven to be more effective at sparking clear and emotional memories than images." By tapping into this sensory experience, McDonald's found a novel way to connect with consumers and remind them of the joyous moments associated with their brand.

So, the next time you find yourself wandering the streets and catch a whiff of something familiar in the air, don't be surprised if it leads you to an unexpected encounter with a scented billboard by McDonald's. After all, in the world of advertising, sometimes the most captivating experiences are the ones that defy expectations and leave a lasting impression on both the mind and the senses.


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