Popcorn dilutes cinema ads? I don’t think so

A lot of press was given this week to a study, by a German University, which found eating popcorn in the cinema “helps us forget the adverts”, as reported initially by Britain’s the Daily Mail. But McCann Hong Kong group CD is skeptical.

For the experiment, a group of students were invited to watch a movie preceded by a set of commercials. Half were given popcorn while the other half were given sugar cubes. All the participants were then tested on their reaction to the products that were advertised. As a result, the sugar-cube eaters showed a greater desire for the products that appeared on the film adverts whereas those who had popcorn showed no buying intention.

James Reeves (pictured), group creative director of McCann Hong Kong, finds the study rather unconvincing.

“As a creative I’m naturally suspicious of ‘research’. I’m even more suspicious of any ‘news’ heralded by organs with the integrity of The Daily Mail,” he said.

But whether there’s a kernel of truth in the story or not, what really matters is what we already knew – that advertising in any medium needs to be fresh and compelling to stand out and stand the test of time.”

The only recent cinema advertising Reeves can recall, is the Canadian spot for razor blade company Gillette that poked fun at the much-anticipated superhero movie “Man of Steel”. To Reeves, the “snort-out-loud funny” spot has etched on his mind not only because it was “relevant and refreshing”, but also because it is capable of tricking audience into believing it was a genuine trailer.

“In fact, I may have showered the poor family in front with my mouthful of popcorn. I will say this though – while I still remember the advertising, I’ve forgotten which film I was waiting for when I saw it.” he added.

Watch the spot here then tell us what you think of the research in the comments below – is popcorn really a threat to cinema ads as we know them?

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