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Thread: Marketing Spin

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    A co-worker of mine many years ago had a Renault 10. The front wheel bearings failed. He had to order them from France. When he opened the Renault labeled box, the actual parts were engraved "Timken", with a number.
    He went ahead and installed over a weekend, because he needed the car, but when he got back to work he called our bearing supplier and gave them the number. Five bucks, how many ya want?
    He'd paid Renault $70.
    Exactly what I was talking about. And wheel bearings can stretch quite some extremes between cars. A Fiat Ritmo and Lancia Delta S4 group B rally car of half a million use the same ones. So yes, you can safely use that 5$ part in your 700HP hillclimb monster.

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    I can remember in the 1970s when we had the Pontiac Ventura, Oldsmobile Omega and Buick Apollo, all of which were virtually identical with the concurrent Chevrolet Nova except for superficial cosmetic items. In the same general time period GM was using engines interchangeably among the divisions. I remember a case in which the owner of a new Oldsmobile was outraged when he discovered that there was a Chevrolet engine under the hood. An engineer reportedly said something like, "Relax, it's a better engine."

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  4. #94
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    Black Friday Bargains! (not some cheap lines we don't usually carry but just got in for Black Friday)
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    Those huge boxes of candy sold at the movie theaters. They are only half full but they do contain the listed "net weight" of candy (not false advertizing). Just a visual trick to make you think you paid $5 for a lot more candy than what turns out to be in the box, half air.

  6. #96
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    The ad that's driving me nuts right now is a T.V. spot for some kind of comfy chair.

    They start with saying something like "imagine you're sitting relaxed in one of our comfortable chairs" (I have not memorised the exact words) while showing pictures of someone looking blissful in a chair.

    Then a moment later they say "well, imagine no more! Right now you can get one for ..." or whatever the deal is.

    That so annoys me. Bringing in that "imagine no more" line like it really is something we've all been dreaming about, when it was them, just a moment ago, that told us to imagine it. It's so inane. It's such a badly conceived attempt to manipulate.
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  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    I am fuzzy on the details, but I seem to remember some sort of partnership between General Motors and one of the Japanese companies with a manufacturing plant in the USA. They were making virtually identical cars that differed only in nameplates and superficial trim. One was marketed as a Chevrolet, aimed at the general American market. The other had a name that appealed to a subset of the public who assumed that an imported car was superior whether it was true or not. Does anyone remember any details? I don't think I dreamed it.

    Back in the 90s Honda and Rover did the same thing, Honda cars with a Rover badge.
    Are you thinking of NUMMI and the Toyota Matrix/Voltz and Pontiac Vibe? I have one of those.

    I sold cars for a short stint and learned how much the badges make little difference, except when they do. Often, the difference is still cosmetic, but in a way that matters, such as being able to get certain luxuries like leather upholstery with a certain type of engine and transmission (because some people hate getting aftermarket mods). Or sometimes, a type of engine is specific to a badge, like how the Cadillac Northstar engine has the same fundamental design as the Oldsmobile Riviera, but with certain features and missing others (such as the supercharger that was only available on the Riviera), and how the Oldsmobile Alero 6-cylinder was basically the Northstar minus two cylinders. After a short time, you learn to refer to cars by their platform designation, such as "That's a GM W," or "Here comes another K-car."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis View Post
    Are you thinking of NUMMI and the Toyota Matrix/Voltz and Pontiac Vibe? I have one of those.

    I sold cars for a short stint and learned how much the badges make little difference, except when they do. Often, the difference is still cosmetic, but in a way that matters, such as being able to get certain luxuries like leather upholstery with a certain type of engine and transmission (because some people hate getting aftermarket mods). Or sometimes, a type of engine is specific to a badge, like how the Cadillac Northstar engine has the same fundamental design as the Oldsmobile Riviera, but with certain features and missing others (such as the supercharger that was only available on the Riviera), and how the Oldsmobile Alero 6-cylinder was basically the Northstar minus two cylinders. After a short time, you learn to refer to cars by their platform designation, such as "That's a GM W," or "Here comes another K-car."

    Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eagle Talon, exactly the same car. Interestingly, Consumer Reports consistently rated one much worse than the other. Toyota and Chevrolet did this, too, where a Toyota (iirc, it was a Corolla) and a Chevrolet (the name of which I can't remember) were exactly the same, but one got consistently better grades.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eagle Talon, exactly the same car. Interestingly, Consumer Reports consistently rated one much worse than the other. Toyota and Chevrolet did this, too, where a Toyota (iirc, it was a Corolla) and a Chevrolet (the name of which I can't remember) were exactly the same, but one got consistently better grades.
    Japanese used imports are popular here (drive on the same side of the road as us, ditch their cars when still in pretty good condition), and Toyota one of the most popular makes (new and used).

    There were people buying a particular used Toyota from Japan, that turned out to be some dreadful Chevrolet that was being sold in Japan with a Toyota badge on it; some kind of tit-for-tat trade deal or something.

    (A quick google later, and it seems Wikipedia knows about it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevro...oyota_Cavalier )
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    When Rover were selling cars based on Honda models the Rovers were not as good as the Hondas.

    but the same thing happens with vans.
    I had a Citroen van for work and my colleague had a Fiat. Both the same van the only difference being trim and some of the electrics. I can honestly say the Fiat was a far better van than the Citroen.
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  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    When Rover were selling cars based on Honda models the Rovers were not as good as the Hondas.

    but the same thing happens with vans.
    I had a Citroen van for work and my colleague had a Fiat. Both the same van the only difference being trim and some of the electrics. I can honestly say the Fiat was a far better van than the Citroen.
    The Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eagle Talon were literally coming off the same assembly line. The only difference was the manufacturer's logo stuck on before they were driven off. That CR reported significant differences in the cars was almost certainly due to flaws in their methods of data collection and analysis, in the same way that one should be suspicious of data that shows blue cars have significantly more mechanical trouble than green ones.
    Last edited by swampyankee; 2017-Dec-02 at 02:28 PM.

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    Yes but. Citrone trim including seats, dashboard, controls etc are considerably more crappy than Fiat parts.
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  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    The Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eagle Talon were literally coming off the same assembly line. The only difference was the manufacturer's logo stuck on before they were driven off. That CR reported significant differences in the cars was almost certainly due to flaws in their methods of data collection and analysis, in the same way that one should be suspicious of data that shows blue cars have significantly more mechanical trouble than green ones.
    Were they serviced by different dealerships?


    (And what the heck is "Eagle"? Did they name their vehicle "Eagle Talon" because somebody else had already used "Eagle Talon Rocket Gun Sport"?)
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    Paprikas. Or, bell peppers, as they're known as in some places. Sold seperately, but here also "conveniently" in a bag of three, a red one, a yellow one, and a green one. The difference usually given: the green one is a little less sweet.

    The green one is just an unripe specimen of either other pepper, and adding them to the mix lowers the average cost. I've been surprised how many people think the green one is actually a different kind.

    It's not really marketing spin I have a problem with, I like the taste of the green ones too. But it's at least a little bit questionable.
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  15. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain swoop View Post
    When Rover were selling cars based on Honda models the Rovers were not as good as the Hondas.

    but the same thing happens with vans.
    I had a Citroen van for work and my colleague had a Fiat. Both the same van the only difference being trim and some of the electrics. I can honestly say the Fiat was a far better van than the Citroen.
    Was the Citroen made in France and the Fiat in Italy, or were both made in the same factory wherever?

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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    Paprikas. Or, bell peppers, as they're known as in some places. Sold seperately, but here also "conveniently" in a bag of three, a red one, a yellow one, and a green one. The difference usually given: the green one is a little less sweet.

    The green one is just an unripe specimen of either other pepper, and adding them to the mix lowers the average cost. I've been surprised how many people think the green one is actually a different kind.

    It's not really marketing spin I have a problem with, I like the taste of the green ones too. But it's at least a little bit questionable.
    Known as Capsicums here in Oz - and NZ, S.E. Asia, China, India etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Known as Capsicums here in Oz - and NZ, S.E. Asia, China, India etc.
    Canola oil. Because it sounds better than rapeseed.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  18. 2017-Dec-03, 07:11 AM

  19. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Canola oil. Because it sounds better than rapeseed.
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  20. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    Known as Capsicums here in Oz - and NZ, S.E. Asia, China, India etc.
    Thanks. I knew about India, not that it was that widespread. The usage of the name Capsicum, not India. Odd, since Capsicum is the genus name, and the genus also includes the thousands of different types of chili peppers. Bell peppers are in Capsicum Annuum, but so are Jalapeños, cayennes and many ornamentals. But that was just Linnaeus being mistaken that they were one year plants, not marketing spin.
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  21. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    Were they serviced by different dealerships?


    (And what the heck is "Eagle"? Did they name their vehicle "Eagle Talon" because somebody else had already used "Eagle Talon Rocket Gun Sport"?)
    Eagle was a brand from the late, unlamented American Motors when it was moribund and trying to survive. The cars were serviced by different dealer networks, but the CR methodology claims to be comparing vehicles, not service networks. Obviously, these can't be disentangled, but CR's surveys also include things like fit and finish as new and initial failures of components, neither of which would be affected by dealers.

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  22. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Eagle was a brand from the late, unlamented American Motors ...
    Hey! I owned a Rambler many years ago. Actually a pretty good car.
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  23. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Hey! I owned a Rambler many years ago. Actually a pretty good car.
    My grandfather owned one. The electrical system was so messed up that the garage gave up, and they mounted a set of trailer lights on top of the rear fenders to serve as brake lights and turn signals.

    Of course, it was difficult to exceed the sheer offal-ness of the last generation of Nashes. Burned into my mind is the sight of one after both front wheels fell off on a smooth road in slow traffic.

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  24. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Eagle was a brand from the late, unlamented American Motors when it was moribund and trying to survive. The cars were serviced by different dealer networks, but the CR methodology claims to be comparing vehicles, not service networks. Obviously, these can't be disentangled, but CR's surveys also include things like fit and finish as new and initial failures of components, neither of which would be affected by dealers.
    If I remember correctly, American Motors was very good when George Romney was running the show, and the Ramblers of the period were well made and appealed to those who were looking for economical compact cars. Our '62 station wagon withstood five accidents and could have done well in a demolition derby in its last gasp. Romney's successors apparently didn't adapt to a changing market as well as the competition did, and did not have the deep pockets like General Motors. The original AMC Eagle was a FWD Hornet/Concord derivative. The rebadged Mitsubishi was unrelated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hornblower View Post
    Was the Citroen made in France and the Fiat in Italy, or were both made in the same factory wherever?
    A bit of both, they used a common shell, doors, windows etc but different engine options and interiors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Eagle was a brand from the late, unlamented American Motors when it was moribund and trying to survive. .
    I think that was during the period when American motors was wholly owned by Renault, which was in turn owned mostly by the government of France.
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  27. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
    Toyota and Chevrolet did this, too, where a Toyota (iirc, it was a Corolla) and a Chevrolet (the name of which I can't remember) were exactly the same, but one got consistently better grades.
    If we are thinking of the same cars, it was Chevrolet Geo Prizm (and later just call the Chevy Prizm). They had slightly to rather different bodies than the Corolla - the sedan version was almost identical to the Corolla (my wife had one of those), but there was also a hatchback version (I had one of those). We both had good experiences with them, whatever that proves.
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    It Runs on Water!

    Yesterday, I saw a TV commercial for a flashlight that needs no batteries, and "runs on water"!
    Allegedly, you soak its "fuel cell" in water to activate it, and then get 100 hours of light.

    I did a little online reading, and it does use water, but the no-battery claim is dubious.
    First, it needs salt water. Second, the water corrodes an internal rod, generating a small current that operates an LED.
    The rod is consumed in the process, but you can apparently get two cycles out of the thing with a second soaking for a total of about 200 hours or so.

    The TV commercial makes no mention of the requirement for salt water, nor the two cycle limit.
    Interestingly, the website doesn't appear to sell replacement rods.

    On the plus side, an unused rod is allegedly good for 25 year. That sounds good for an emergency kit, until you realize that you'll have to mix salt water in the dark in order to get your flashlight to work. It also solves a problem that has already been solved. Shake and crank flashlights have been around for years. I have a 18-year-old shake flashlight that still works fine. You can also charge it while it is operating... and it is waterproof.
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  29. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post

    ...

    On the plus side, an unused rod is allegedly good for 25 year. That sounds good for an emergency kit, until you realize that you'll have to mix salt water in the dark in order to get your flashlight to work. It also solves a problem that has already been solved. Shake and crank flashlights have been around for years. I have a 18-year-old shake flashlight that still works fine. You can also charge it while it is operating... and it is waterproof.
    Put the electrode in the handle. In our climate, with the air conditioning off, I'd probably sweat enough to keep the flashlight going.

  30. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Yesterday, I saw a TV commercial for a flashlight that needs no batteries, and "runs on water"!
    Allegedly, you soak its "fuel cell" in water to activate it, and then get 100 hours of light.

    I did a little online reading, and it does use water, but the no-battery claim is dubious.
    First, it needs salt water. Second, the water corrodes an internal rod, generating a small current that operates an LED.
    The rod is consumed in the process, but you can apparently get two cycles out of the thing with a second soaking for a total of about 200 hours or so.

    The TV commercial makes no mention of the requirement for salt water, nor the two cycle limit.
    Interestingly, the website doesn't appear to sell replacement rods.

    On the plus side, an unused rod is allegedly good for 25 year. That sounds good for an emergency kit, until you realize that you'll have to mix salt water in the dark in order to get your flashlight to work. It also solves a problem that has already been solved. Shake and crank flashlights have been around for years. I have a 18-year-old shake flashlight that still works fine. You can also charge it while it is operating... and it is waterproof.
    I have a flashlight with a rotating crank. Terrible, as you need both hands just to operate the flashlight and it has really short lifespan if you stop cranking. I need to buy one you have to squeeze.

    Which indeed concludes once again that the problem has already been solved.

  31. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    I have a flashlight with a rotating crank. Terrible, as you need both hands just to operate the flashlight and it has really short lifespan if you stop cranking. I need to buy one you have to squeeze.

    Which indeed concludes once again that the problem has already been solved.
    Yeah. Long time ago... my grandmother had one of the Philips dyno torches from WW II, I remember playing with it as a kid.
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