In many homes, Friday night is often pizza night. It’s also often movie night. Since about the time the VHS player ousted the Betamax as the in-home-movie-viewing-machine-of-choice in the early 1980s, pizza and movies at home have been a common pairing.

It doesn’t seem like a pizza company would have to do much to get consumers to make the connection between the two, but get this. Dominos is adding chemicals to rental DVDs that release a pizza scent while the DVD plays. The label on the DVD also changes during play, and when the DVD is removed, the label looks like a pizza. Right now, this not-so-subliminal marketing is only available in Brazil.

I read about this on Prevention, and I couldn’t help but think how this idea is both futuristic and late to the party. By futuristic, I mean futuristic in a 1950s prediction sort of way - the sort of thing that would have been marketed as a possibility in the TVs of the future.

“Thinking of purchasing a television set? You should. Everyone’s buying one. And you wouldn’t want to be the last person on the block to have one of these modern marvels, would you? Why, we predict that one day, you’ll not only be able to see what’s on television; you’ll be able to SMELL what’s on television. Buy a television set so you won’t miss out on Smell-o-vision!”

I also see it as late to the party, though, because the use of DVDs is quickly fading, especially here in the United States. (Which is one reason why Dominos is probably doing it in Brazil.) I haven’t rented or bought a DVD in well over a year. I now stream movies and TV shows (I don’t even have basic cable anymore) from iTunes, Amazon, Hulu and Netflix. This marketing technique would have been much more effective 10 years ago when everyone was ditching their VHS tapes and renting DVDs from the local Blockbuster.

So I’m not too concerned about food-scented movies being a problem in my home. But, they would be a problem. I get migraines from chemical scents. My home is very fragrance free. If the scented DVDs weren’t labeled as such and I ended up having a living room full of chemical pizza smell one night, it wouldn’t be pretty.

I suppose for others, though, the scent would have them reaching for the phone to have a pizza delivered in a half hour, long before the movie was done.

Do you think the smell of pizza wafting from your DVD player while watching a movie would get you to reach for the phone and order delivery? And if it did, would you be calling Dominos or a local, independent pizza place?

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Dominos hopes smell-o-vision DVDs will induce pizza cravings
In Brazil, the pizza chain is embedding DVDs with chemicals that release a pizza smell from the DVD player when it heats up.