0641: "Free"

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thezachperson31
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0641: "Free"

Postby thezachperson31 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:00 am UTC

Image

Title text: Asbestos is bad; definitely get the one on the right. Wait -- this one over here has no swine flu! Now I can't decide.

It's H1N1, not swine flu! :x

(I also posted all three comics this week first. :wink: :P )
Last edited by thezachperson31 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:05 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:02 am UTC

First time I actually sat there and refreshed for a comic. It was worth it.

This has driven me nuts for years. Like licorice being fat free. No kidding, it always has been.

Or "probiotics" and "prebiotics" in yogurt. Gah!

Cynical consumers FTW!
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby Omegaton » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:04 am UTC

Related to cereals, frosted mini-wheats for a while had this thing on the top of their box advertising that eating it for breakfast boosted memory or something. Then there was a tiny note that said something along the lines of "compared to eating nothing for breakfast." Marketing can be pretty annoying.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby nahtanoj999 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:04 am UTC


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Simon17
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby Simon17 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:06 am UTC

I was hitting F5 for about a minute waiting for this one, but I was somewhat disappointed. Not really an original joke and I was kind of hoping for some cartoon boobs.

Maybe Monday
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby The TJ » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:07 am UTC

I'm hoping that products that DO use stuff like sugar start saying "Now with ZERO Splenda".

I don't know why I'm against sugar substitutes, I just am.
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby glasnt » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:08 am UTC

Simon17 wrote:I was kind of hoping for some cartoon boobs.

Bloody hell, man. You get nipple once, and all of a sudden you want it all the time.

This is why Oliver only ate gruel.

In related news, HI JOEE

I tried to make you a new thread starter, but I was beated *shakes fist*

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby VHBT » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:12 am UTC

nahtanoj999 wrote:Beaten by Zack Weiner: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db ... =974#comic

True, but I laughed at Randall's version. The SMBC one is less funny, somehow.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby rho421 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:13 am UTC

I can't stop laughing, even though I've seen this joke before.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby Hiodide » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:16 am UTC

I laughed and thoroughly enjoyed this one, maybe because I understood all of it, but still, worth the use of F5.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby Comic JK » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 am UTC

VHBT wrote:
nahtanoj999 wrote:Beaten by Zack Weiner: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db ... =974#comic

True, but I laughed at Randall's version. The SMBC one is less funny, somehow.

The SMBC version is too cluttered, for one thing. "Asbestos-free!" has a much punchier comedic impact than "0% skin from a dead hobo's mouth."

I've long thought it should be illegal to advertise your product as "following the law!" in any sense. Consumers have the right to assume that every company is following the law--to explicitly declare it is just false advertising (or advertising that doesn't tell the whole truth).
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:37 am UTC

I still don't see it on the main page :?

Anyway I don't see much humour here. Marketing is a lot of bullshit, yes, we know... why is it funny?
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby Max2009 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:46 am UTC

I hate marketing. I refuse to buy any product I've seen on an infomercial.
Also, I have a jar of something I thought was honey. There's a picture of a honey-comb on it and it says 100% ALL NATURAL! and there's a gooey gold liquid inside.
After I bought it and tasted some I read the ingredients and realized my mistake. It's caramelized sugar water. And yes, sugar and water are 100% natural.
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby joee » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:04 am UTC

hi glasnt!

also, nice. I always laughed at things that were all "97% fat free!", when 3% fat is still quite a lot.
Hi glasnt.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby SummerGlauFan » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:10 am UTC

I agree 150% with this strip.
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby BlueNight » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:12 am UTC

I once gave a presentation to the mens group at my church, on logos, branding, and other marketing-related things. The first thing out of the pastor's mouth was, "God doesn't need marketing."

Bull. Marketing is the process of making consumers aware of a product, its benefits, and its cost, in a way that makes the consumer more likely to consume it.

Currently, God has the WORST marketing out there. He's LITERALLY giving away eternal life and an escape from entropy at no cost to anyone who believes, plus a restored and unlocked human potential and the internal companionship of the Spirit of Truth and Love. But all those wacky Christians out there try to bundle the free offer with obligations and hassles and lifetime commitments; it's worse than eBaum's World!

But that wasn't my point in my presentation. I wasn't talking about marketing God, I was talking about marketing our church. Sunday and weekday services, facility available for weddings and funerals, a Christian analogue to Boy Scouts, website with sermons as mp3s, the works.

Sure, bad marketing makes the whole product (whatever it is) unappealing. But the best marketing is like a good special effect - you just don't notice it.
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby faunablues » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:35 am UTC

I especially love "fat free!" It's on sugar, soda, and some candies (granted, some non-chocolate candy contains some fat, but really, you're already eating candy!). I'd think with the low-carb fad that there would be gallons of canola oil out there with "0 carbs!"

I wonder if saying "---- free!" of something deleterious (asbestos?), you could get sued for slander/libel against your competition, since you're implying someone's product contains it.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby bugmento » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:37 am UTC

Also beaten by head & shoulders.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzTXxZ3sNUI

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:52 am UTC

I remember a TV episode, or comic strip arc, or something with a story to it, where a kid sets up a lemonade stand or something, and another kid who hates them sets up their own and advertises that it "DOESN'T have ______" (something dangerous). Naturally everybody at the other stand reacts with shock and heads to their stand. It might have been The Simpsons, come to think of it.
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a.sub
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby a.sub » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:56 am UTC

THATS RIGHT FOLKS
this cereal here is just as advertised
with every purchase you get Asbestos ... FREE!!!

you know my parents always said id fail in advertising ...
Spoiler:
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby omnichad » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:17 am UTC

I have seen pork rinds labeled as "Low Carb." I'm just waiting for the literal tub of lard with the Low Carb label. I know the low-carb fad is out, but it's not too late!

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby slashme » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:19 am UTC

I dunno about you crazy yanks, but here in well-regulated, orderly South Africa, you can't make a "free from" claim if whatever it is you're selling doesn't or shouldn't ever have whatever you're claiming it to be free from. So "asbestos-free" cereal would be taken off the shelves in a heartbeat.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby suzi » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:22 am UTC

You know...here I was thinking "hmm SMBC and XKCD just keep getting similar and similar" and I hadn't even remembered the dead hobo skin comic.

Really though. They are. I think it might be the four-letter initialism thing.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby vslayer » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:25 am UTC

nahtanoj999 wrote:Beaten by Zack Weiner: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db ... =974#comic


beaten by you^^

still pretty good though.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:25 am UTC

Omegaton wrote:Related to cereals, frosted mini-wheats for a while had this thing on the top of their box advertising that eating it for breakfast boosted memory or something. Then there was a tiny note that said something along the lines of "compared to eating nothing for breakfast." Marketing can be pretty annoying.
Of course! If you don't eat breakfast, you won't remember eating breakfast!
Yeah, marketing is rather annoying most of the time, and a comic reminding us of that and mocking it isn't especially funny.
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby RockShrimp » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:45 am UTC

There's probably an earlier one, but the earliest example I can think of with respect to "We have/don't have BLAH" (where BLAH = something that is also true of every other version of that product) is Lucky Strike with "it's toasted." That's from the late 1910s.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby cla » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:49 am UTC

In Australia at least there are annoying claims like "97%" fat-free, as though all the fat is in just 3% of the product. Usually the fat is distributed throughout the whole damn thing - *none* of it is "fat free".
Also, some chips claim "50% less fat than those cooked in palmolein oil". Turns out the ones making the claim use palmolein *blended* with other oil - so by my reasoning they *are* still cooked in palmolein oil - but their 1800- number operators don't see it my way.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby aquilo » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:00 am UTC

thezachperson31 wrote:
It's H1N1, not swine flu! :x



No, it is swine flu. The term "H1N1" refers to a broad family of flus, so it is not specific enough. If you're really keen to avoid a connection to pigs or Mexico, you'll have to say something like "the strain of H1N1 that started in 2009 that is most notable in the media".

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby lulzfish » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:03 am UTC

Spoiler:
The XKCD one is better because it doesn't require me to think about dead hobos.

Anyway, the "natural vs. artificial" bothers me down to its nougaty, philosophical core.
You could argue that everything is natural, if you're an atheist or believe in a nature deity, since humans are all natural...
Or you could say, "Only things made by humans are artificial", at which point you have to define "made".
Water is natural, but it doesn't naturally come in a plastic bottle.
Sugar is natural, and so are animal skeletons, but they don't naturally seek each other out and combine powers to become white sugar.
7up is all natural, until the semi trucks, mixing machines, carbonation, and of course humans get involved.

To say anything sold anywhere is natural is like saying that honey comes from flowers, not bees. They are both involved.

Like when an ingredient is called "artifical flavor", it was probably natural at some point, then it went through a bunch of machines and somehow became artificial.
But natural flavors have the magical property of going through a different set of machines and staying natural, I guess because they don't want to list, "nectar, bee labor, beekeeper labor" instead of "honey"....


tl;dr: Everything is natural at some level, I don't understand why there needs to be a distinction between "natural flavor" and "artificial flavor", and this not-understanding makes me type too much.

Also, my friend buys this "Light grape juice" because it has less sugar in it. I get the heavy grape juice because I drink a lot of sugar anyway, and the light grape juice is just 50% diluted heavy grape juice with extra color, flavor, and sucralose added to make it taste sorta like heavy grape juice. But sucralose gives me a headache, and sugar doesn't, so I always get heavy grape juice.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby WK1 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:10 am UTC

Marketers, now shame free!

I hate it when they advertise basic math. 12-pack! 50% more than an 8-pack! 33% more cereal than a box of cereal that has about 33% less cereal!

My strawberry Nestle Quik has on the tub "25% less sugar than other powder and syrup brands." It's 93% sugar. They get away with it with a bit of deception, one big lie, and a bit of indifference from those who could enforce false advertising laws.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby SciBoy » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:17 am UTC

cla wrote:In Australia at least there are annoying claims like "97%" fat-free, as though all the fat is in just 3% of the product. Usually the fat is distributed throughout the whole damn thing - *none* of it is "fat free".
Also, some chips claim "50% less fat than those cooked in palmolein oil". Turns out the ones making the claim use palmolein *blended* with other oil - so by my reasoning they *are* still cooked in palmolein oil - but their 1800- number operators don't see it my way.

That's not even the funny example, my eyes almost fell out of my head when I saw a cookie package with the claim: "64% FAT FREE!" with a big yellow splash. That's not a boast, people, that's a warning! It means that there's 36% fat in the damned cookies and you know that the rest of the 64% is sugar and white flour. I mean, that's the fat content of cheese for Pete's sake.

Just wanted to vent that. :)
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby glasnt » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:20 am UTC

At least it's better than the 'You're speeding in the bedroom, do you know know how fast you were going?'

Give me '99.99% Dolphin Free' over AMI's ads any day.

Also, calling up and abusing 1800 60 50 50 over their ads is fun ^_^

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby Simon17 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:20 am UTC

WK1 wrote:33% more cereal than a box of cereal that has about 33% 25% less cereal!
Randall, get out of my trunk!

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby WK1 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:29 am UTC

Simon17 wrote:
WK1 wrote:33% more cereal than a box of cereal that has about 33% 25% less cereal!


Here you go: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/about

I didn't want to get into a big math discussion, that's why I said about 33% instead of 25%. Too many people would be wondering where the 25% came from.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby EugeneSlipped » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:36 am UTC

SciBoy wrote:
cla wrote:In Australia at least there are annoying claims like "97%" fat-free, as though all the fat is in just 3% of the product. Usually the fat is distributed throughout the whole damn thing - *none* of it is "fat free".
Also, some chips claim "50% less fat than those cooked in palmolein oil". Turns out the ones making the claim use palmolein *blended* with other oil - so by my reasoning they *are* still cooked in palmolein oil - but their 1800- number operators don't see it my way.

That's not even the funny example, my eyes almost fell out of my head when I saw a cookie package with the claim: "64% FAT FREE!" with a big yellow splash. That's not a boast, people, that's a warning! It means that there's 36% fat in the damned cookies and you know that the rest of the 64% is sugar and white flour. I mean, that's the fat content of cheese for Pete's sake.

Just wanted to vent that. :)

When I was a kid I used to get "xx% fat free" mixed up with "xx% less fat than..."... You can see the sort of confusion and horror my parents would get while shopping when I pointed out certain things that were "25% fat free!"

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby scarletmanuka » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:41 am UTC

Simon17 wrote:
WK1 wrote:33% more cereal than a box of cereal that has about 33% 25% less cereal!

Glad to see I wasn't the only one who was annoyed by that. This is xkcd after all, we should all be able to do simple arithmetic.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby mikekearn » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:56 am UTC

I always mentally stick a "NOW" in front of all marketing claims that lack it, in order to put things in perspective. "NOW Asbestos Free!" "NOW With no skin of a dead hobo!" If the "NOW" makes the claim disturbing, then I avoid it.
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby vslayer » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:00 am UTC

lulzfish wrote:
Spoiler:
The XKCD one is better because it doesn't require me to think about dead hobos.

Anyway, the "natural vs. artificial" bothers me down to its nougaty, philosophical core.
You could argue that everything is natural, if you're an atheist or believe in a nature deity, since humans are all natural...
Or you could say, "Only things made by humans are artificial", at which point you have to define "made".
Water is natural, but it doesn't naturally come in a plastic bottle.
Sugar is natural, and so are animal skeletons, but they don't naturally seek each other out and combine powers to become white sugar.
7up is all natural, until the semi trucks, mixing machines, carbonation, and of course humans get involved.

To say anything sold anywhere is natural is like saying that honey comes from flowers, not bees. They are both involved.

Like when an ingredient is called "artifical flavor", it was probably natural at some point, then it went through a bunch of machines and somehow became artificial.
But natural flavors have the magical property of going through a different set of machines and staying natural, I guess because they don't want to list, "nectar, bee labor, beekeeper labor" instead of "honey"....


tl;dr: Everything is natural at some level, I don't understand why there needs to be a distinction between "natural flavor" and "artificial flavor", and this not-understanding makes me type too much.

Also, my friend buys this "Light grape juice" because it has less sugar in it. I get the heavy grape juice because I drink a lot of sugar anyway, and the light grape juice is just 50% diluted heavy grape juice with extra color, flavor, and sucralose added to make it taste sorta like heavy grape juice. But sucralose gives me a headache, and sugar doesn't, so I always get heavy grape juice.


i tend to go the other way on this issue, as i see it, an artificial colour/flavour is one that isnt native to the product. for example a strawberry jam could advertise it as natural colour, were the colour derived from strawberries, but when you mash up a bunch of cochineal beetles and throw them in there, that is definitely not the natural colouring of strawberries.

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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby littlelj » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:15 am UTC

Well, I chuckled.

And now I feel slightly warmer towards the European Union. They may make a lot of shitty laws, but their decrees about advertising do protect us from the worst examples.

In our supermarket there are about ninety different sorts of fruit squash (cordial). Only five are not "low-sugar" or "no added sugar". Of those three, only two have no artificial sweeteners. Most parents I know genuinely think the "no added sugar" varieties are a million times better for their children than the sugar versions.

Seriously, I can't imagine a diet where the 15 kcal difference between a glass of sugar-only squash and a glass of sweetener-only squash matters. That's like weighing your lentils in micrograms. And if you'd rather put chemicals* in your child than natural** sugar then ... gah.

* i.e. start off with a man in a white coat and goggles
** i.e. start off with sunshine and rainbows
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Re: "Free" Discussion

Postby cephalopod9 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:28 am UTC

Aw, first read through I thought it was referring to grabbing up fictional brand names, which would actually be kind of cool if marketers started doing that.

I know GenCo is from Repo! the Genetic Opera, and Stay Puft is from ghostbusters, but I'm not sure what RedFarm is from...
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