Ad Of The Month

Smells Like Cheese Spirit: Cheetos Scents Success

Brazil: Cheetos


A smell can be a distinctive asset for a brand just like sounds, logos, shapes and textures can be. But of all the senses, smell is one of the trickiest to capture in an advert – this is part of why fragrance ads are so abstract.

So it’s a bold choice for Cheetos and their Brazilian agency AlmapBBDO to make an ad focusing on its distinctively cheesy smell. “Isso E Muito Cheetos” (“That’s So Cheetos”) has to take a clever route to get its point across, focusing on strong use of the senses it can access on the screen.

First of all, sound. The ad takes an old 90s song by Banda Eva, “Me Abraca”, which just so happens to begin with the lyric “Quando você passa / Eu sinto o seu cheiro” (When you pass, I smell you). Next, vision. The ad shows a succession of people whose noses suddenly catch the smell of Cheetos and are compelled to follow it. The broad, cartoonish mimes of “smelling something” make the ad entertaining and also get the idea of scent over.

And third, sound and vision working together. Rather than use the original “Me Abraca” song, the ad brings it up to date with a baile funk remix, and has a dancer from the hit funk group Heavy Baile lead the Cheetos parade. This gives the ad a modern feel, puts more emphasis on the key lyric, and also creates a central character whose dancing brings it all together. Of course, at the end, it’s the brand’s main distinctive asset, Chester Cheetah himself, who smells the snacks and joins the dance.

The result is a joyful ad where viewer happiness builds throughout, and one which earns a Strong 4.3-Star rating for long-term effectiveness but also Exceptional short-term Spike and Brand Fluency scores. Not bad going for a commercial which celebrates an entirely intangible brand asset – but by creating happiness with the senses you can capture on screen, Cheetos gets across the idea of one you can’t.