Who Knew Popcorn Was The Secret Crunchy Slayer Of Movie Ads?

You’re settled in your seat at the movies, nice and early because maybe you like the previews and don’t like to hunt for just the right seat. But you got there a little bit too early and now you have to sit through the theater’s commercials. Hope you got some popcorn to snack on, because it could help make you immune to the onslaught of marketing, according to a new study.

Researchers from Cologne University say that chewing can help keep advertising messages from getting a hold in our brains, reports The Guardian.

See, ads imprint brand names on our brains when our lips and tongues automatically mouth the pronunciation of new names the first time we hear them. When you hear that name again, researchers say your mouth practices along with hearing it.

But the study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology says the “inner speech” effect can be mucked up by chewing, because your mouth is busy eating and can’t take the time to mouth words.

Researchers had some participants eat free popcorn while watching a movie preceded by a bunch of ads. The other half only got a sugar cube to suck on, which if you’ve never had a sugar cube, it melts pretty darn quick.

After the screening researchers found in testing that the ads had no effect on viewers who munched on the crunchy snacks before the show, while the sugar-suckers had positive psychological responses to the products they’d viewed.

“The mundane activity of eating popcorn made participants immune to the pervasive effects of advertising,” said one of the researchers. “This finding suggests that selling candy in cinemas actually undermines advertising effects, which contradicts present marketing strategies. In the future, when promoting a novel brand, advertising clients might consider trying to prevent candy being sold before the main movie.”

You better be prepared for a fight if you try to take my movie snacks away. It’s the only thing that gets me through the previews.

Eating popcorn in the cinema makes people immune to advertising [The Guardian]