Self-perpetuating earned media: The MacBook Pro fragrance and ‘unboxing porn’


The Conversation published my article on Air Aroma’s replication of the fragrance of an Apple MacBook Pro for an exhibition by Melbourne artists Greatest Hits.

I argue that the story represents not only a highly successful viral earned media campaign, but that it taps into the self-perpetuating earned media of ‘unboxing porn’: Video or picture sets of a packaging striptease.

Air Aroma
Untitled; 2012 Aroslim cold fusion diffuser - anodized aluminum natural finish, scent of new Apple 13 Inch MacBook Pro replicated through Air-Aroma in Grasse, France 23 x 23 x 125.5 cm (3355 x 5660 x 3140) (Photo Credit: Greatest Hits)

The image on the left is the actual art piece itself, the Air Aroma diffuser–quite Mac-like in its style–plugged in and diffusing the ‘new MacBook Pro’ fragrance. Greatest Hits explain the project in this way:

All of our ideas and work emerge from our discussions. Initially we were interested in transforming a material object, both physically and symbolically, into one that was immaterial. A new Apple MacBook Pro exemplifies the cutting edge of consumer technology. The high enthusiasm surrounding the idea of new attainable technology is prevalent in todayʼs culture. What we have attempted to do, in a symbolic way, is to capture the essence of an object in an attempt to understand the aura surrounding it. (Full PDF description)

Read the full article @

Rintel, S. (2012, April 20). Eau de MacBook Pro takes ‘unboxing porn’ to a new level. The Conversation (Online).

Also syndicated in:

Rintel, S. (2012, April 21). Scent of a MacbookSBS World News Australia (Online).


Rintel, S. (2011, November 2). The Evolution of Fail Pets: Strategic Whimsy and Brand Awareness in Error MessagesUX Magazine (Online).