Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why all the Sonic commercials?

You've seen the commercials a million times. Two goofballs are riding in a car and one makes a bad pun. "It's no normal breakfast.. its like a breakfeast!". Hilarity ensues. Now you're hungry and ready to head off to the closest Sonic's. The problem: google maps says the nearest Sonic's is 50 miles from where you live! why?

Pre-market saturation. There's no Sonic's near you now but the idea is that there will be. A couple reasons come to mind on why they are using this strategy:

  1. Advertising is cheap enough - they aren't losing a ridiculous amount of money
  2. There's a natural human tendency to want what they can't have. The commercials are meant to stir up interest, and combine that with a lack of availability causes people to desire it more.
  3. The best advertising is word of mouth - you want people to talk about your product and pass the word along. Everytime I watch a Sonic's commercial with a group of people someone points out the fact that the nearest Sonic's is miles away. This is good.

In-n-out used a similar marketing campaign which was highly successful. Don't be surprised when theres finally a Sonic's near you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Every Base Is Base 10

(image from

Took me some time to get this one. Basically every base is called 'base 10'. Even though the alien actually does count in what we would call 'base 4'. The alien would still call it base 10.

This makes more sense when we count in different bases.

decimal(how spaceman counts): 0,01,02,03,04,05,06,07,08,09,10
quaternary(how the alien counts): 00,01,02,03,10
binary: 0,01,10,11
hex: 0,01,02,03,04,05,10

Thus you can see how both the spaceman and alien end up with base 10. Maybe we should really call it by the highest number before 10. So decimal would be 'base 9' and the alien would count in 'base 3'