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January 27, 2005 12:22 AM

Broken: Math in ad banner

Ad1Ad2Julian Smith writes:

I found this ad on a website I was on. Obviously the creators of this ad dropped high school math.  "Forty-two percent less" is more than half.


even if the math is wrong, the pictures right, he still has his bag, so id say 50% of his clothes counts as 42% of his overall belongings.

Posted by: Dragon at January 27, 2005 12:38 AM

I guess I flunked math too, can you explain that ?

Posted by: Mike at January 27, 2005 08:50 AM

I see the math mistake.

The left panel says a dropout earns 42% less than a grad. Thus, for each grad that earns $50K, a dropout somehwere is earning $29K (NOT $21K - see below**).

The right panel then talks about a dropout earning less than half of a grad. But $29K is MORE than half of $50K.

** dropouts earn $29K

It does not say dropouts earn "...42% OF a grad..."

If it did, dropouts would be earning $21K.

It says "...42% LESS THAN a grad..."

So 50 - (42% of 50) = 29

So $29K is 42% less than $50K.

The pic is accurate too, since he has plausibly retained 29/50ths of his stuff.

The only error in the ad is the "...if you earn less than half the salary of a grad..."

The moral message is:

Drop out. Sucking at math still gets you into advertizing.

Posted by: DaveC426913 at January 27, 2005 09:33 AM

Ahh....I see it now. I should have read it more carefully. Thank you for not spamming me on a dumb question.

Posted by: MIke at January 27, 2005 10:52 AM

For anyone else who is still confused:

42% less than = 58% of

(more than half, not less than)

Posted by: Jay at January 27, 2005 11:15 AM

This is almost as broken as my mom when she goes to sales. 50% off + 20% off at the register does not equal 70% off. As Barbie said, "Math is hard."

Posted by: Joshua Wood at January 27, 2005 11:59 AM

At least he gets to keep his iPod.

Posted by: Zarate at January 27, 2005 01:10 PM

And his backpack.

To me, it looks like the dropout has plenty of disposable income and has also acquired some cool futuristic fashion sense.

Posted by: Zarate at January 27, 2005 01:14 PM

You know I was just thinking that given the choice I'd reather have half an outfit and an ipod than a whole outfit and no ipod. I guess he felt the same way

Posted by: Joshua Wood at January 27, 2005 01:19 PM

I think the greyed-out / dotted area isn't his missing clothing, it's part of his sporty ensemble! So that he looks good while toting around his overpriced iPod.

No, I'd say he's going to be feeling that income % hit when he starts buying the .MP3 files or investing in Broadband and security software to make his iPod complete..

Posted by: Paralysis at January 27, 2005 02:29 PM

Anybody else notice that the ad was sponsored by the US Army? Kink of creepy, an employer that really can take that second leg right off, just as illustrated. IIRC, they also pay about 42% less than any equivalent civilian job.

Lot's of truth behind the scenes here.

Posted by: Dan at January 27, 2005 04:03 PM

Yeah, Dan, but you get to shoot people. That's gotta count for something.

Posted by: Maurs at January 27, 2005 05:09 PM

yea i guess being allowed to kill people is worth a pay cut...

its probably better than putting up with annoying coworkers for the rest of your life and not being able to do anything about it...

Posted by: Carl Winslow at January 27, 2005 06:01 PM

If they were really trying to get the point across, you'd think they'd get rid of the backpack and ipod. Because when you make "less than half" (hee) you supposedly wouldn't be able to afford those particular items, though chances are you would be able to afford a whole shirt and an entire pair of pants.

Posted by: lauren at January 31, 2005 10:08 AM

T caption from the submitter reads "...42 is more than half." Perhaps you'd like to explain that one?

Posted by: Izaak at February 16, 2005 11:27 PM

it is not an ipod it is a cheap $0.15 radio.

Posted by: unkown at April 6, 2005 04:28 PM

I've actually noticed this too but I forgot about it until just now. And does it matter that he has an ipod?

Posted by: Chris at April 19, 2005 07:16 PM

Izaak, perhaps you'd like to read the long, lengthly explanation posted near the top.

Posted by: Twisted_Ferret at April 21, 2005 08:15 PM

the fact tha we all automatically assumed that it was in ipod is really scary.

Posted by: mario at July 9, 2005 02:25 PM

Did anyone else notice that the only shoulder-strap holding his backpack on his body was gone? I think that means his backpack is floating in mid-air. That floating will also cost him. I think I found something else that was broken. :)

Posted by: halomed12 at August 25, 2005 09:26 PM

This is not broken, 42% is less than half.

Posted by: Tim Faulkner at March 26, 2006 09:10 PM

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