Advertising campaigns are about more than just advertising lines. Shopping centre Westfield has created an immersive culinary pop-up brand experience to mark the launch of its 2015 dining campaign, The Food Sensation. Over two weekends in February, visitors to The Tongue Twister will be able to experience how their sense of sight, smell and sound influences our perception of taste.

Advertising campaign

The campaign focuses on the fact that we are increasingly looking for authentic ‘experiences’ when we dine – which is evident from the popularity of immersive, sensory restaurants such as Dans le Noir and the Rainforest Cafe.

With Tongue Twister, Westfield has built on this trend for sensory dining, to curate a brand experience that challenges customers’ senses.

Guests will travel through four Willy Wonka style themed rooms; Pure, Sight, Sound and Smell, and participate in interactive experiments and games, which have been designed to show how certain sounds can enhance sweetness, and colours can impact on flavour.

Advertising that gives food for thought

Understanding how different environments and surrounding factors impact on our dining experience is an interesting area of study, and advancements in sensory technology mean that brands can now create meaningful brand experiences that engage with consumers at a raw, emotional level by appealing to all of their senses.

A proponent of this approach is celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, whose restaurant The Fat Duck became famous for its Sound of the Sea dish, with accompanying iPod playing the sound of waves. While three Michelin-Starred Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca staged a unique, multi-sensory opera-dinner called El Somni, comprising of light and video projections, opera music, and of course, stunning, meticulously crafted dishes.

The aim of the multi-sensory brand experience was to immerse diners in a dreamlike state, and pair up the food courses with particular sights, sounds and smells, to create a certain mood and enhance the dining experience.

The Smart Headset

An interesting development in sensory technology could make for some interesting and unique brand experiences with advertising campaigns. Researchers in Japan have developed a headset that triggers different sounds as wearers close their jaws when eating. An arm attached to the headset contains a light sensor that detects jaw movements during chewing. At the same time, a microphone taped to a person’s jawbone picks up chomping sounds inside the mouth. A computer programme then enhances the sound – by adding extra crunch to potato chips for example. The altered sound is then played through headphones while a person eats.

The device has been designed to enhance the texture of a meal by synchronising sound effects with chewing.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on