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Eating popcorn helps numb the impact of cinema advertising

But can it help diminish the annoyance of those Kevin Bacon adverts?

For serious cinemagoers, noisily munching on popcorn is a crime whose severity is almost on a par with using a mobile phone during screenings.

But eating popcorn during the advertisements should be positively encouraged, according to researchers from Cologne University.

In a study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, and reported in the Guardian, it was found that chewing makes people immune to film advertising.

The science behind it is as follows: When we first hear a new name, our lips and tongue automatically simulate its pronunciation.

Each time we hear it again, we practise that pronunciation again, helping us to remember it.

But apparently, that “inner speech” can be disrupted by chewing.

In the experiment, 96 people were taken to a cinema. Half were given popcorn, the other half had a small sugar cube that dissolved quickly. The adverts left no impression on those who had eaten the popcorn.

Researcher Sascha Topolinski said: “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.”