Cross-media Smell!

On September 10, 2005 by Christy

Australian TV is experimenting with cross-media, but not in the way you think. A popular gardening/renovation show, Backyard Blitz, had a ‘simulcast’ show (ep.13) on Sunday 4th September in Melbourne on Channel 9. The show was simulcast over TV and a magazine. The content? Smell. When presenters discussed flowers on the show you could also open up the accompanying magazine and rub a picture of the flower to smell it.

In an innovative Blitz first, we launch an interactive “smellivision” experience! In partnership with the Burke’s Backyard magazine, viewers can smell the scents of the flowers that we plant in the garden.

They have a copyedit problem, as the magazine describes the show as ‘smellavision’ not ‘smellivision’ as on the website, or ‘smellovision’ as it is known from experiments in film in the 50s, 60s and 80s.

I wanted to watch the show to see how they dealt with the ‘call to action’. I missed it unfortunately, but by a shot on the website, it looks like they used ‘modeling’ techniques: where the instructions on how to act are shown so that the audience can model behaviour. I do have the magazine section though, and they do smell lovely. They used ‘new technology paper’ which I’m quite impressed by. Smello/i/a/vision is back!