We're often told that when we buy food items, we should always pay attention to the label. While most people do that to check the ingredients, is it possible that heroes and villains could have an impact on what you buy at the grocery store? Researchers from the Brigham Young University conducted a study which found that foods which feature heroes on the label were a lot more likely to be bought as compared to foods that featured villains on their labels.
They also realised that they could use this as a trick to curb obesity. So, for example if healthy food was labelled with a hero, people would find it more attractive, whereas if junk food was labelled with a villian, people would hesitate before consuming it. "If someone wants an ice cream bar and it is packaged with a hero on the label, the kind and benevolent character makes the indulgent product seem less vice," said a researcher. "But a product that is already healthy, like water, would benefit more from villain labelling because it makes the water seem more edgy and exciting," he added.
"We see hero and villain labelling everywhere we go, and people don't realise how they use these labels to justify their buying decisions," he said. "People may want to be healthy and spend less, but they still want something that is exciting, and the right labelling can make this possible," he concluded.