Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, April 17, 2021

I’ve just now noticed this, but I’m pretty sure it’s been the case for the past several years:

The above ad for MetroPCS, which I grabbed off their website, is representative of the company’s advertising template: It always features an attractive male or female face with a big smile plastered on it — but only half of it. Every time. The pretty face is facing forward, but you only see either the left or the right half of it, with the rest cut off by the ad’s margin edge, remaining unseen.

It’s gotta be intentional. There’s nothing unusual about employing a distinctive advertising style to reinforce your brand — so whenever someone sees an ad with a smiling half-face, the hope is that it triggers mental recollections of MetroPCS, no matter what it is.

But I think there’s a subtler message being delivered here. Namely, that since MetroPCS is sort of a halfway-fulfilling wireless phone service because its phones don’t work outside strictly-defined coverage areas (the whole basis of their super-cheap, limited offering), they’re using the half-face imaging to get that point across subconsciously. It’s basically, “We’re showing you part of this face to remind you that you’re buying only part of a modern wireless phone service from us!”.

Hey, at least it’s truth in advertising, even if you have to think about it first.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 04/17/2009 01:15:48 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Tech
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Someone’s not letting a little thing like the Great Recession get in the way of college fundraising: An ultra-anonymous donor — who’s demanding signed affirmation that his/her identity won’t be investigated — has given $45 million to nine American universities.

The source was so secret that it triggered post-9/11 style nervousness:

Usually when schools receive anonymous donations, the school knows the identity of the benefactor but agrees to keep it secret. Not knowing who is giving the money can raise thorny problems.

William Massey, vice chancellor for alumni and development at University of North Carolina-Asheville, said the school contacted the Department of Homeland Security and the IRS to make sure the money was legal before accepting it.

“There may be an ethical problem if you knowingly accept funds from ill-gotten gains,” said [University of Colorado at] Colorado Springs’ Hutton. University officials “do due diligence and ask the appropriate questions and receive satisfactory answers.”

What’s the deep-dark fear — that Osama bin Laden is making these secret cash-dumps, and will later call in the favor by seeking asylum on campus?

By the way, did I mention that I’m starting up a new online school: PopulationStatistic.edu? That’s right, and it’s legit, or might as well be. So if that anonymous moneybags is reading this, and has a spare million or two left over, I’ll gladly send on PopStat U’s PayPal account information. And don’t worry — no questions asked, and I can keep a secret with the best of them!

Between that mystery money, and my continuing efforts to land a Blogging Fellow-based MacArthur Foundation “genius award”, I’ll soon be sufficiently funded for my largely-theoretical academic endeavors. Beats working, anyway!

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 04/17/2009 11:12:02 AM
Category: College Years, Comedy
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