The sweet smell of advertising: the essence of matching scents with other ad cues

Yaniv Gvili, Shalom Levy, Moty Zwilling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


New technologies enable practitioners to communicate scents in advertisements on various media. The current research examines the importance of matching scent cues to the advertised product, and the joint effect of scent and other cues such as colour on consumer responses to advertising. A 4 × 2 experimental design was conducted, where participants (N = 603) were presented with scented colour print advertisements. Three hierarchical responses were measured: emotional response, attitude, and purchase intention. Findings reveal that higher congruence between scent and the advertised product heightens positive consumer response. Furthermore, this research stresses the significant joint effect of scent and colour cues, and supports the incongruence approach, suggesting that combining scents that are poorly congruent with other sensory cues enhance consumer response. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-590
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Advertising
Issue number4
StatePublished - 4 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • PAD model
  • Scent
  • attitude toward the brand
  • colour
  • congruence
  • incongruence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Marketing


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