Carnival Cruise Line on Wednesday set up a vending machine in New York’s Greeley Square Park that dispensed cans filled with the scents of Caribbean destinations.
The novel promotion featured cans of Wild Banana Orchid from Grand Cayman, Puerto Rican Coffee from San Juan, Sugarcane Rum from St. Kitts and Island Coconut from Cozumel. The aluminium cans contained nothing but air and fragrance but could be “popped” like a traditional soft drink.
The vending machine, which also dispensed chances to win a free Carnival cruise, was set up in a heated tent. The promotion also featured a steel drum band and scents from the islands piped throughout the air.
Carnival said it developed the idea from research showing that that 95% of Americans agree that scent can trigger vacation memories and 56% agree that a scent motivated them to plan a vacation.
“Our #OpenFun campaign is designed to promote travel to the Caribbean by encouraging consumers to stop and smell the tropics, get a ‘scents’ of what a cruise experience might be like, and maybe win a cruise vacation,” said Stephanie Esposito, director of digital marketing for Carnival Cruise Line.
The concept is part of the participatory and interactive marketing strategy pursued by Carnival chief marketing officer Kathy Mayor.
Winter is prime time for tropical tourism promotions in cold climates. Fort Lauderdale for several years advertised its beaches with a glass-enclosed flatbed truck that featured a real sand beach with a lifeguard stand and lifeguard. The Florida Keys in 2014 dispatched a lime-green food truck to Toronto to hand out slices of key lime pie.