I tuned into a London radio station yesterday and was transported back in time by a song by The Primitives called ‘Crash’. Anyone else remember it?

That was the anthem of my Summer of 1988 – a memorable year as it was the one when I hosted a party at my parents’ house that got out of control. The party swelled at pub closing time when we were joined by about 50 gatecrashers. Aside from the damage to our possessions, the theft of an antique and someone turning up at midnight with a dead cat (I kid you not), it was my parents’ disappointment that will be forever associated with that song (sorry Mum & Dad!).

Our senses are assaulted from all angles 24 hours a day. We all know the cliché about baking bread and brewing fresh coffee before the prospective buyers come to view your house. The sound of a particular brand of office telephone ringing fills me with fear, reminding me of a bully I used to work for.

Many of these sensory signposts are essential for our survival – the smell of rotten food being the most obvious example. But there is a whole industry dedicated to ‘sensory marketing’, attempting to liberate our cash by appealing to our most basic instincts.

Apparently the smell of citrus makes us linger longer in shops; fast food outlets play upbeat music to make us eat faster and get out of there to make room for more customers; and Apple leave their laptops open at a very particular angle to encourage us to touch and play.

This fascinating infographic below from AlternativesFinder.com provides even more examples. So next time you’re tapping your feet along to the music and reaching for your purse, take a deep breath and see if you can smell the coffee.


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