Popcorn And Other Snacks That Crunch Our Media Distraction

Popcorn makes theatergoers ignore in-theater ads, according to a new study.(In a related story, overpriced Milk Duds and bottled water make you want to buy a BMW!)

Seems that when people chew, they subconsciously try to sound out new brand names. Popcorn interferes with this.

Well, in watching television, any chewing I do seems to miss not only whole sections of advertising that isn’t fast-forwarded, but much of the  programming content. (Hey, honey, what did Robin Williams’ character just say to Sarah Michelle Gellar? Sounds crazy, to be sure.)

Being driven to distraction seems to be a popular topic for both old and new media. It’s not just food, but also competing digital devices, beverages, conversations, and cats chasing spiders across a room.

Going through texts or emails on a phone also interferes with lots of stuff – whether in a movie theater, watching TV, or in a moving car.



A movie theater may no longer even be the best place to watch movies. A new study says 50% of people would rather watch movies from home -- no doubt to be able to retrieve dental floss to extract popcorn remains from their bicuspids.

New research should examine all of this and more – such as real-time, real-life conversations people have in their prime-time living rooms or in their prime-time commutes.

Noshing in front of any medium -- TV, smartphone or tablet -- is more than just the minutiae of media distraction. It should be a growing research field, especially with increased media fragmentation cutting into the increasingly harder-to-achieve goal of media and marketing experts: scale.

That's why we come down to crunching numbers, and mouthfuls of tasty and not-so-tasty media. Spit out what you don’t like, and focus on what you can really snack on.

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