by: Roger Dooley
The company cited by Brand Sense author Martin Lindstrom for doing the best job of sensory branding is Singapore Airlines. Now, Korean Air seems to be making its own major effort to appeal to multiple senses… via the primarily visual medium of television.
I’ve seen this ad air a number of times, and was struck by the number of appeals to different senses. Most of the commercial looks like a luxury fashion ad - only near the end do we see a glimpse of a Korean Air jumbo jet followed by a few seconds of an attractive flight attendant.
Most of the ad, though, is composed of a montage of video snippets that both epitomize, in a surreal manner, a luxurious lifestyle and appeal to senses other than purely visual. The most unusual of these is a segment that shows a woman applying perfume; that seems oddly irrelevant unless the intention is indeed sensory appeal. In addition, the images include various taste elements - sipping champagne and a plate of food are the most obvious.
Other sensory images abound: a champagne cork popping; the champagne bottle visibly misting after opening; a woman reaching out to touch a shiny, sensuously curved, sculpture. Watch it and you’ll find others. Perhaps to minimize distraction by the visuals, the commercial is done in a monochromatic approach. While it would have been tempting to overwhelm the visual sense with lush, rich colors, that might well have prevented the viewer from processing the more subtle sensory appeals. Overall, this is an interesting ad; one wonders if Korean Air is incorporating sensory elements throughout their other marketing as well as their actual services.