Eating Popcorn At The Movies Could Make Advertisements Less Effective

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Stop fact-checking the movies

Dean Obeidallah

Such a license would allow anyone to use Breinersdorfer movies and movies from anyone else online without striking a deal with him or any other rights holders, provided that licensing fees are paid. Breinersdorfer argued in his article that such a license would be the only effective way to fight piracy, which is particularly rampant in countries like Germany where legal services have yet to gain traction. Torrent and streaming sites offer free movies, but make good money with ads, he said. So why not offer companies an easy way to license films and share some of that ad revenue with creators and studios? Subscribe to gigaom.com Said Breinersdorfer: Why shouldnt it be possible to organize the whole thing legally if internet gangsters can make millions with ads? His proposal: Institute a one-stop-shop for online licenses where internet companies can acquire rights to use any film that is no longer in theaters. Entrepreneurs would be free to launch whatever video platform they want, whether its a genre-specific, ad-supported streaming site or a premium platform with paid HD downloads, and then just pay a predetermined fee, which would then be distributed to rights holders. Breinersdorfers proposal is radical, but not unprecedented. Compulsory licenses have long been a key part of the music business, where every band can freely cover another bands songs without first asking for permission. Similarly, radio stations dont have to strike deals with record labels before they air their songs. Instead, stations pay compulsory rates to composers and publishers through entities like ASCAP and BMI. However, its unlikely that we will see similar licenses for the online use of movies any time soon. Even in the music biz, attempts to broaden collective licensing have failed. Back in 2008, Warner Music explored the idea of collective licenses for online music to legalize file sharing, but those efforts were effectively shelved in 2010. Image courtesy of Shutterstock userwoaiss. Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:

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Half of the audience was given popcorn, which was constantly filled throughout the screening. The others received a small sugar cube. The ads were all real commercials of products that would typically not be known to a German audience, including a spot for the Scandinavian butter brand Lurpak. A few weeks later, the subjects were asked to rate a list of different products, some of which had been advertised. The sugar cube-eating group rated the products they had seen ads for higher, but those in the popcorn group were not influenced by the ads. The researchers conducted a second experiment with 188 people, except that in addition to their snacks the subjects were given money they could donate to charity. Again, the sugar cube group was more likely to give money to charity organizations that had been advertised, but people in the popcorn group were not swayed by what they had seen. “This finding suggests that selling candy in movie theaters actually undermines advertising effects, which contradicts present marketing strategies,” Topolinksi said. “In the future, when promoting a novel brand, advertising clients might consider trying to prevent candy being sold before the main movie.” The researchers hypothesize that the chewing motion of popcorn might have something to do with this effect. In order for people to remember something, they have to “say” it to themselves. This could involve speaking the word out loud or reading the product hearing it in your head. Chomping on popcorn could ruin that process, as opposed to sucking on a sugar cube, the researchers said. Topolinksi added to the Hollywood Reporter that for some established brands, the “popcorn effect” might not be as pronounced. The study’s findings were more important for more unknown brands.

Apparently not, because so many people feel compelled to show us how clever they are by attempting to point out factual errors depicted in film after film. News flash: Movies are supposed to be an entertaining experience. They are an escape from reality. If you want to learn history or facts, read a book. Or if you are too lazy to do that, then google it. Dean Obeidallah We have seen this self-aggrandizing spectacle of people fact-checking movies with two recent films. The first is the current box office champion, “Gravity,” with the other being “The Butler.” “Gravity,” which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, follows a space mission that goes terribly awry. Despite its box office success, a chorus of critics have attacked numerous scientific flaws in the film — such as pointing out the allegedly inaccurate way Bullock’s hair floated in zero gravity . But that’s nothing compared to the recent barrage of Twitter attacks launched at the film by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. His tweets ranged from criticizing the direction space debris was depicted as travelling to more nuanced issues such as faulting filmmakers for showing that the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station and a Chinese space station were, “all in sight lines of one another.” This is not the guy you want to sit next to in a movie theater during “Star Wars.” How realistic is ‘Gravity’? I can just hear him whispering things such as: “The Death Star is too big to fly at that rate of speed,” or “Yoda could never survive in that atmosphere.” Look, “Gravity” doesn’t even pretend to be based on anything more than the screenwriter’s imagination. And here’s the biggest thing for people like deGrasse Tyson to keep in mind: it’s science fiction, for God’s sake! You would think the “fiction” part of “science fiction” is something that an astrophysicist could comprehend. And then there’s “The Butler,” the Lee Daniels film about a man who served for decades as a butler for various presidents at the White house.

Dillon Smith gets popcorn for customers in the concession stand at the TK/Starlite Drive-In Theater on Sept. 28, 2013 in Neligh, Nebraska.

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