There are certain sounds, sights, and flavors that evoke travel. It wasn’t originally intended this way, but George Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue means United Airlines. For years Portico’s ‘white ginger’ smell meant Hyatt Regency, though I suppose Westin’s ‘white tea’ smell is more well-known. The flavor of Tortas Frontera sandwiches is the sine qua non of Chicago O’Hare airport for me.
But maybe there’s a new competitor, because there’s a sound which bellows down the hallways at terminals in Los Angeles, Chicago O’Hare, Las Vegas and Austin that I just cannot get out of my head.
That’s the sound of the ‘Sprinkles Cupcakes’ vending machines. I stopped by to record one in Austin recently.
They even have a loyalty program complete with elite status.
To be fair, there are many songs I can’t get out of my head. Most of them are the theme songs for shows that my daughter likes to watch. And six weeks later I still can’t shake the Russian paratrooper VDV song parody.
My association of brands with travel does influence my purchase decisions, because emotional connections matter. I’ll happily order Suntory whiskey (‘for relaxing times’) and my choice of shampoo is driven entirely through hotel exposure.
Now this Sprinkles song seems to stick and I find myself singing it to.. myself. I may have to break down and buy a cupcake at the Austin airport this week.