A study from the Cologne University tried to prove this assumption: were they able to?
One day I was making some research for my editorial plan, I found out that there is an international day dedicated to popcorn lovers (crazy, right. March 11th, in case you were wondering) and, as one of them, I started looking for something marketing related. You never know, there is always something super cool laying around and so it was even this time.
It all began with a previous study from the Journal of Consumer Psychology where ‘researchers found that viewers remember brands by simulating the pronunciation of a new name with their mouths’.
But this “inner speech” can be disturbed by chewing, rendering adverts redundant, said the research.
Also, It contrasts with previous studies, which suggested chewing gum could aid memory.
So, is the research saying that the reason why adverts manage to imprint brand names on our brains is that our lips and the tongue automatically simulate the pronunciation of a new name when we first hear it? Yes, apparently, every time we re-encounter the name, our mouth subconsciously practices its pronunciation.
So, will popcorns save our lives? Ok, maybe just make us immune to ads will be just fine
To investigate the effects of popcorn on memory, 96 people were invited to a cinema to watch a movie which, of course, was preceded by a sequence of adverts.
Before the projection half the group was given popcorns, which was replenished throughout the screening, while the other half received just a small sugar cube.
The commercials that were shown were for existing products coming from different brands in other countries which were unfamiliar to the German participants.
A week later, the participants were invited to a laboratory and asked to rate a series of products, including some of those which had been advertised.
So which was the result?
The sugar cube group displayed preferences for the advertised products, but the popcorn munchers did not.
Ok, but is this enough to convince you about this? No, it isn’t, that is why there is a second study which I am going is right down below.
So, within this second attempt to test the assumption 188 people were shown adverts in similar circumstances, then given money to donate to charity.
Again, the sugar cube sample tended to give money to charities that had been advertised in the cinema, but the participants who had been eating during the screening showed no such preference.
“The mundane activity of eating popcorn made participants immune to the pervasive effects of advertising,” said Sascha Topolinski, one of the researchers.
The study posits that repetition of brand names is essential in imprinting them in our consciousness.
“Particularly for novel brands, excessive exposure and repetition are necessary to establish the brand name in the first place,” wrote the authors.
“Remember your initial irritation upon encountering the names Yahoo, Google, and Wikipedia for the first time; now they are imprinted in your brain.”
Mr Topolinski goes so far as to suggest that advertisers may try to boycott popcorn.
“This finding suggests that selling candy in movie theatres 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.”
Cinema-owners may not be so keen, though. On average, popcorn is sold at a 900% mark-up, according to economics professor Richard McKenzie at the University of California – Irvine.
We got at the end, and the surprising truth is that: Popcorns have superpowers, which is not just related to taste!
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