Heard you don’t want to be affected by ads that want you to eat junk food, so we got you a bag of junk food to eat while you watch commercials that want you to junk food. They’ve got you coming and going. You’ll want a soft drink with that popcorn, right?
Popcorn and movies are inextricably linked—like cotton candy and county fairs, or coffee and the morning commute. Equally ubiquitous in theaters is the reel of advertisements that show before the film.
New research suggests the two are at odds: popcorn actually makes advertisements ineffective.
Researchers in Germany sent 96 people to the cinema. Some of the movie-goers got free popcorn (score!) while the others were given a sugar cube (for real?!). Before the film, participants watched advertisements for unfamiliar products—things like Scandinavian butter.
When the researchers brought participants back into the lab a week later and asked them to rate various products (those advertised at the theater among them), the sugar-cubers showed a preference for the advertised products whereas popcorners did not.