Who knew that a bucket of popcorn can serve two functions: satisfying hunger and blocking out brand messages?

According to a study at Cologne University in Germany, popcorn-munching moviegoers are able to ignore cinema ads more easily than those who aren't snacking on anything.

The Hollywood Reporter states that in this study, researchers invited participants to watch a film in a cinema, but first, they had to sit through a series of new ads for new products. Some of the participants were given popcorn as they watched the ads; others were given just a small sugar cube. In terms of what the researchers found, the results were significant.

Viewers who only had a small sugar cube were more likely to recognize and purchase one of the brands in the ads. Those who ate popcorn were less likely to do so. In fact, only 40 percent of popcorn munchers chose to buy one of the products a week later, while 65 percent of the non-popcorn munchers did so.

What does this mean?

Researchers were able to find out some interesting facts about how we consume brand marketing. Apparently, when we are introduced to a new brand name, we pronounce the name subconsciously with our lips and tongue, and our brain practices this inner speech each time the name is mentioned. When we are chewing something, it disrupts our inner speech. This suggests that concession stands at movie theaters might be counterproductive.

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