Olfactory marketing has been used for years, and usually the objective is to use appealing scents and create a positive branding message. Not always, though – one politician is conducting a campaign that, well, stinks. Carl Paladino, the Republican nominee for governor of New York State, has sent out a mailing that smells like garbage.

The mailer shows pictures of seven Democratic office holders from the Empire State, six of whom have been investigated. Two of the Democrats have already resigned. The theme of the mailer is, “Something STINKS in Albany!”

This mailing is not without risk, though. First, there’s the obvious danger of putting something that smells bad in voters’ mailboxes. Perhaps the greater risk is that recipients may find the bad smell to be the most memorable part of the flier and link it with Paladino himself. Not exactly a positive brand association. Still, one can’t dispute the novelty of this approach, and the scent effectively underscores the “corrupt politician” message of the flyer. (AP story.) Stay tuned in November to see if stinky marketing works.
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