Advertising Warning: Gum Kills Brain Cells

MEMO to the PR teams of Wrigley’s, Bubbalicious, Bazooka and whatever else pleasures your mastication fetish: You have some work to do.

It seems the Journal of Consumer Psychology had some time on their hands and did a comprehensive study on advertising.

While the post-doctorate folk opined and mused about “mere exposure,” “persuasion” and “embodiment,” there was one peculiar finding that should be an arrant admonition for the PR folk of bubble gum manufacturers nationwide (you are giddy with expectation to discover what this all about, aren’t ya?)

“Oral interference sabotages advertising effects.”

I know, right?! Just terrible. To think, you could be sitting in one of those cushy seats at the local movie theater mustering up the courage to down a few Milk Duds and a gullet full of Sprite. Then it happens, an advertisement comes on about the local gym that just opened down the block from your house. What do you care? You are a little thicker around the belt and single, ready to mingle. You get ready to remember the number, get a membership and possibly a date. As fate would have it, you begin gnawing on a dud, the number comes on and instantly, your mind goes blank.

No more number. No more commercial. No date in sight. And no more hope of reducing those elephantine love handles of yours. And why? You chewed. Sounds like a vile PSA from the Ad Council gone terribly wrong. Here’s a sampling of the cerebral prowess of those scholars:

One important psychological mechanism of advertising is mere exposure inducing positive attitudes towards brands. Recent basic research has shown that the underlying mechanism of mere exposure for words, in turn, is the training of subvocal pronunciation, which can be obstructed by oral motor-interference.

It seems recall can be negatively influenced by chewing during advertising of which subjects have never heard. Hey, forget the Hopper, DVR or even Netflix. Give me a grandiose dollop of Big League Chew and my mind will be blank during all commercial segments. Huzzah!

Just don’t tell my clients. I have a rep to protect…and a job.