Escape advertising through the power of chewing

popcorn, movie snack
Credit: Metro Archive

Eating popcorn makes you insensitive to advertising in cinemas, as “oral interference” disrupts our ability to learn brand names, claim researchers at the University of Cologne.

Test groups who had been eating remembered nothing compared to a group who had not, said study author Dr. Sascha Topolinski, who enlightened us further.

Metro: Please explain this mysterious process.

Topolinski: The mouth automatically generates sub-vocal speech when we encounter novel names, which is how a brands embeds itself. But if you are eating something your mouth cannot train with the word, in our case it was popcorn

So if my mouth does the remembering, why am I so bad with names?

My last name is difficult so I understand, but people who are bad with names often are suffering interference. Try to keep your mouth free in future during introductions.

Can I ignore advertising everywhere by chewing at the right times?

It could work – say by chewing gum to avoid TV commercials and Internet banners. Our subjects quite enjoyed the cinema adverts without being able to remember anything about them.

So it works with all foods?

Yes and by vocal interaction like chatting, Even smoking a cigarette would have that effect.

Are you worried that advertisers might kill you?

Well, our research is only about new brands so Apple and Burger King are already in your brain. One solution could be that cinemas only sell snacks after the adverts, that would please everyone



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