Moviegoers to get tonic with a whiff of gin

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The Independent Online
Next time you go to the cinema, be prepared to have all your senses assailed. It is no longer just sound and vision, but smell which could also come into play.

An advertising company is launching the first smellyvision campaign for film goers to promote Gordon's Gin. As a gin and tonic is mixed on screen, the smell of juniper berries will waft across the audience.

The aromatic effect will be created by releasing the scent of the berries through the auditorium's air conditioning system. However, those hoping to inhale a tipple will be disappointed. It is completely non-alcoholic and will dissolve in carbon dioxide.

The week-long trial will begin at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, south London, on Friday. If public reaction is favourable it will be launched nationwide.

Andy Neal, of United Distillers, said the company hoped that the pounds 250,000 campaign would boost the revival of gin, which in common with many other spirits is trying to shake off its image as the older-persons' drink.

According to the British Film Institute, this is the first time an odour has been linked to an advert, although combining movies with smells date back more than 50 years.

In l940 audiences at My Dream smelt a range from flowers and forests to petrol and tar. The effect was repeated in the l959 documentary Behind the Great Wall, Scent of Mystery the same year, and Polyester in l982.

A spokesman for the Advertising Standards Authority said: " This is a new area in which cinema goers will have no choice in whether or not they want to be subjected to the smell in the advertisement. We shall have to see how the public react."

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