Advertising Stercus Tauri

Have you ever viewed a commercial on the electro-magnetic audiovisual receiver that includes the statement

X “is softer than” Y.

If so, you should empty your stomach of its contents. Or hurl a brick through the screen. Or, as a minimum, laugh hard and derisevely and never ever consider buying the product.

You don’t measure softness. Softness has no physical meaning.

You measure hardness. Hardness has physical meaning.

But evidently saying

Y is harder than X,

doesn’t sell X.

So anytime someone tells you something is softer than something else, they are mouthing rot and stench.

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Algebra Repulsians

Yes, the title is unfair. But given the density of climate change denial among repulsians, as compared to democruds, they’re a bigger target. And, like pigs, they’re used to being covered in mud and stercus.

One of the classes of commercials I found especially odious were those that prey upon the acalculate nature of bogs by torturing maths. A couple of examples are this:

the commercial for the oven that is claimed requires 20% less time to cook foodstuffs. No problem so far, but then the commercial sez that means the cook gets to spend 20% more time eating the meal.The maths problem for this is for the statement to be valid, the baseline cooking time MUST equal the baseline eating time. Otherwise the claim is advertising bunk.

I consulted an expert of this, namely FD SCP, and she assures me that these two times are NEVER the same. So this commercial comes down to sheer abuse of the stupidity of the boggerate; and

the commercial for derrière paper that claims the user of their paper uses “four times less than the primary brand.” At issue is “four time less” than what? Simply put a comparison of comparisons can only be made if there are two original comparisons and only one is presented in the commercial.

This is another example of something that sounds good but is total meaninglessness and an abuse of the boggerate.

Not that I necessarily consider some abuse of the boggerate to be without value, if it improves them in rationality or knowledge. But lacking any improvement, and the bogs generally show the same attitude towards learning maths as they do to not wearing mud and stercus, it seems a waste of perfectly good abuse. So we may as well save for the politicians.

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Commercial Comment

One of the commercials that I found especially grating during my internment was for Anne’s List. I should comment that here in Greater Metropolitan Arab this is essentially a worthless web site since it only has content for cities.

Anyway, the commercial in question has a rather hoity toity African-American woman declaiming  that she is “busy, busy, busy.” I don’t think the geographical heritage of the actor is relevant.

The message conveyed is “I am incompetent, cannot manage my own time and affairs, and am too immature to admit it.” And the actor is quite good. She really nails this conveyance.

So what is intriguing is whether the web site is pursuing this negative portrayal as a sort of self-abasement or if they are oblivious to this message?

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Canonical’s Reich

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, made a statement on Countenance-Scroll the other day about “the social trajectory moving into a region where all advertisements are false and predatory.” I asked him yesterday why he used the word “false” and he basically answered that he had hoped the bogs would comprehend if he used ‘false’ instead of ‘inaccurate’. I then asked if his hopes were upheld and he sadly admitted that they had not.

I personally find the idea encouraging, probably being at least as naive and set for disappointment as my colleague, that an era when all advertisements, regardless of source, will be viewed as their opposite will signal a new ear of human kritik. But I doubt it.

Yesterday I ran into a very good example of the basis of this cynicism. I got pointed to an article [Link] about Ubuntu advertisements. I viewed two of the four, my gorge was rising too high to go further, and seldom have I seen such a collection of misdirection and outright overt inaccuracy. Canonical, it seems, is no different from Megahard when it comes to misdirecting, entrapping propaganda.

I started off chuckling at the claim that Ubuntu is the largest subscribed of the Linux distributions. Since the introduction of Unity, Ubuntu is solidly on the road to middle of the pack. Last release it got whalloped by MINT, which is rather like saying Megahard got whalloped by BASIC.

But then other inaccurate claims were made, all apparently intended to alienate the nerd basis and attract bog neubs. What kind of business model is this? The only thing that makes sense is that Canonical thinks the neubs will pay for hand holding whule the nerd basis is moderately costly to maintain. Of course something in excess of half the production comes from the basis so one still has the impression of Canonical slicing off extremities with a dull piece of paper.

I also liked the claim that Ubuntu works with all the user’s devices. Really? I had to buy specific MP3 players to work with Ubuntu; my phones do not work with Ubuntu, nor does half the hardware in the house, including FD SCP’s sewing machines.

And yes, I am still using Ubuntu, but not Unity. This box is running Gnome 2 and I am in no hurry to blow that GUI away.

But I now have an anecdote of confirmation that no organization can be trusted. Period. And any of their advertisements.

And, no, I am not going to quit brushing my teeth – I trust my dentists if not their professional organization’s advertisements – or going to gym – the Yankee government was already suspect – because the refereed research papers support it.

Distrust and verify.

Thursday Inthought

I did also get to return to gym yesterday, with the dispersion of curfew, and again today. My podcast episode this morning was one of the Ubuntu podcast from the and of tyranny, but the insight I received had little to do with computers.

As I have related previously, the walls of the gym are poorly decorated with large audio-visual electromagnetic receivers, all with the audio disengaged and each separately tuned to a different (mostly) news network. [1] I normally pay them scant attention, unless (e.g.,) the Irishman on Reynard News is verbally declothing the Irishman in the Oval Office, but I happened to note something today.

I want to advance the idea that advertisers get one chance with most viewers. That is, when a commercial is shown, a viewer may pay attention the first time he/she observes the commercial but thereafter only the most mentally deficit of bogs expends any attention span on the commercial. Thereafter, the commercial either serves its function of reinforcing the presence of the ding advertised, or it is null.

Hence, scant wonder that there is so much advertising, if the best that an advertiser can hope for is ~0.1 effectiveness. So they have to saturate. And the cost of commercials negates the option of actually changing material and approach.

But what I would like to see is statistics on alienation. How many people get so incensed at this that they deliberately buy the competitor’s product?

[1]  I am stretching the point here to include news of sports and such nonsense as actually news. Considering what is transmitted by the social engineering liberals and the oligarchic conservatives, it is more newsy than the comparison would usually connote.

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Selling Stupidity

This morning I ran across an article in the feeds about some research on the relationship between advertisement/commercial and peripheral context.[Link] This research was done by academics from a whole buncha shuls so my willingness to give organizational credit is stretched past the limits of Young´s modulus. I will reproduce a quote of a quote:

“Consumers routinely encounter and consider products within a surrounding context, whether that context consists of other products in a shopping mall or from media or personal experience,”

What this triggered was the context within the commercial presentation, in effect das drang in sich.

One such is that series of Home Depot commercials that have all manner of meaningless but inspirational statements. What, prithee, is a ´doing dial´ and why does one ´wind it up´? Dials are generally associated with clocks or gauges but they are displays of some amount, not some spring to be wound on a clock or such. And what is ´doing´? Is this an activity or something measurable? And if not how can it be displayed on a dial.

The overall impact is that I am being hoaxed by these folks, my intelligence almost surely insulted, and the firm removed from my list of vendors to be considered when I require some goods they purvey.

Similarly there is that Ford commercial that rags Honda and Toyota about quality and then belittles maths. This may be an uplifting message to bog but for those of us who consider maths to be more important that literature, and definitely than your insulting commercial, Ford is now a brand of automobile not to be considered when a new vehicle is needed. Especially is no maths were used in its design or manufacture. And if maths were used, why should I trust a conniving liar?

And lastly there is that commercial about turning a ten pound bag of flour into a biscuit. Quite apart from the fact that most people have never seen a bag of flour more than five pounds, the biscuit shown is entirely too large to have ever been baked in any home oven, In fact, its too big for most bakery ovens.

So why are all you folks making commercials with these distractions? Is insulting my intelligence and proving how whacked you are supposed to instill confidence in your product or service? Or are you just trying to tell me you think Americans are stupid as pond scum?

Extinction Murmerings

I am a bit slow in cleaning up old articles; this has been a short attention span weekend. But Monday, blessed Monday, is arrived and we have a whole week to trash and whack.

Resultingly, it is beneficial to note a theme of extinction in some of the articles. The editors at SCIENCE graciously advised me of a television program on the meteoric extinction of the mammoths 13 KYA. [Link] They panned the program, calling it “NOVA theater”, which sounds rather like grousing to me. After all, why should we expect television to do anything more than present entertainment. Sunday is, after all, a paradigm of this with all those mystics pounding podiums and soft leather bound book and alternating between demands for life changes and money. Many times it is difficult to tell them from diet commercials until one can sense the negative aspect of the former.

News readers are another substantial demonstration of the fictionality of television, between studiously ignoring the economic situation, proclaiming that murder will afflict all of us momentarily, and finding the current administration to the the actual coming of the messiah. So why should we expect NOVA or any of the “factual” television networks to actually be factual. Even grant subsidized no commercials programming seems to prize sensationalism over veracity.

Meanwhile, I read another article [Link] by a Wharton academic on why advertising is failing on the net. So much for that WIRED article last year about how advertising was going to provide all of us with free services and goods. What is argued but undemonstrated is that the consumerate of the Yankee republic is becoming resistant to advertising. A more plausible answer is that advertisers have awakened to the realization that internet users are not advertising susceptible.

One of the adages of advertising is that it has its primary effect in retaining consumers for certain brands; gaining additional market share is at best secondary. Also, while consumers may be impressed by original advertisements they are not usually amenable to advertisement in novel situations. The ‘net is one such. People generally use the ‘net in one of two modes, information discovery/task activity and adventure seeking. Neither is amenable particularly to advertising.

The upshot of this is the portent of the demise of the ‘net. I suspect a question that needs be addressed before that conclusion can be made is what will people be willing to pay for. This question is key to the whole issue of the media and to a lesser extent to the ‘net itself. People now pay, in the main, for television cable or satellite, but do they pay for access to the programming or for the programming itself. This is a distinction studiously ignored by most television providers so I suspect it is more the former than the latter.