Smellizing Cookies and Salivating: A Focus on Olfactory Imagery
Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 41 (June 2014), 18-34
17 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2014 Last revised: 30 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 13, 2013
The concept of olfactory imagery is introduced and the conditions under which imagining what a food smells like (referred to here as "smellizing" it) impacts consumer response are explored. Consumer response is measured by: salivation change (studies 1 and 2), actual food consumption (study 3), and self-reported desire to eat (study 4). The results show that imagined odors can enhance consumer response but only when the consumer creates a vivid visual mental representation of the odor referent (the object emitting the odor). The results demonstrate the interactive effects of olfactory and visual imagery in generating approach behaviors to food cues in advertisements.
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