Advertisers, beware. The Guardian reports that chewing makes us immune to film advertising. But how are the two even connected?

Researchers from Cologne University have concluded that “our lips and the tongue automatically simulate the pronunciation of a new name when we first hear it. Every time we re-encounter the name, our mouth subconsciously practices its pronunciation.” This is how advertisements get us to memorize the brand names and products they are shilling. But, chewing disrupts this “inner speech,” rendering the repetition effect redundant.

Here’s how the  Cologne University study went down: The researches had 96 people come to a theater to watch a movie preceded by a series of advertisements. Half of the participants were given free popcorn throughout the session, the other half only received a small sugar cube which immediately dissolved in their mouths.

A test after the movie showed that the advertisements had left no effect on the popcorn eaters. The other participants showed “positive psychological responses” to the products they had seen in the ads. One of the researchers, Sascha Topolinski, implies that this research may dissuade cinemas from selling popcorn:

“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.”

No popcorn at the movies? That would be pretty damn depressing.


[via The Guardian]

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