Philip Oltermann for The Guardian:
Eating popcorn in the cinema may be irritating not just for fellow movie goers, but for advertisers: a group of researchers from Cologne University has concluded that chewing makes us immune to film advertising.
The reason why adverts manage to imprint brand names on our brains is that our lips and the tongue automatically simulate the pronunciation of a new name when we first hear it. Every time we re-encounter the name, our mouth subconsciously practises its pronunciation.
I enjoy the conclusion, but I find the premise behind it to be highly risible. I don’t believe for a second that thousands of people are subconsciously mouthing “Pepsi” right now—and even if they were, I think it’s pretty bleedingly obvious that advertising succeeds or fails on the strength of its rhetoric.