(NEW YORK) -- Fear creates strong bonds, even if it's with an inanimate object like a bottle of soda. This, according to a new study by PhD student Lea Dunn from the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business.
Dunn contends that people will seek out others in a theater during a scary movie "but, in the absence of friends, our study shows consumers will create heightened emotional attachment with a brand that happens to be on hand."
Her theory, which contradicts industry norms that product placement should be avoided in horror films, is that moviegoers feel a stronger tie with a brand when fearful rather than happy, sad or excited, either while holding onto the object or viewing it in the movie.
Interestingly, once the feelings of terror subside, so does the bond one might have formed with a product brand, according to Dunn.
Therefore, she concludes, "Advertisers should consider offering up their brands as something to cling to in the dark when the knives come out and the blood starts to splatter."
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