I had an opportunity to watch TV last night, and after about the 3rd ad-break, my interest were perked by the statistical number 96%, which featured in just about ALL of the ads (aside from the Nando’s one - more on that later). From haircare to facewash to dental care, as well as washing powders, the statistical number of people that preferred the product was… 96%

I googled a bit this morning but cannot find anything sustainable on the number that would (in my mind anyway) indicate that it might be a subliminal cue or something in that line. Aside from the fact that 69 has got some interesting connotations to it, 96% just seems to be a odd statistic to utilise for sales. (No, I seriously doubt that any of these companies honestly went about collecting statistics for their produce)

Nando’s must have picked up on it too though, and in their ad they blew up the 1% that did not enjoy their product and they could honestly then proclaim that 9 out of 9 people preferred Nandos.

Ninety-six is an octagonal number, a refactorable number and an untouchable number. Since it is a multiple of 6, it is a semiperfect number

Ninety-six is the fourth Granville number and the second non-perfect Granville number. The next Granville number is 126, the previous being 24.

The sum of Euler’s totient function φ(x) over the first seventeen integers is 96.

Since it is possible to find sequences of 96 consecutive integers such that each inner member shares a factor with either the first or the last member, 96 is an Erdős–Woods number.

Every integer greater than 96 may be represented as a sum of distinct super-prime numbers.

I heard, a while back, that companies are not allowed to claim 100% satisfaction/perfection of their products unless they have absolute concrete proof and can back up their claims. I don’t know whether this is 100% correct though. Since not everyone likes all the products out there and there are bound to be some disgruntled folks muttering into their soapboxes/KFC lunch specials, I doubt they could scrape up a 100% satisfied claim. I prefer 69% actually - it sounds more feasible.

In scientific experiments or tests that aim to establish something about living humans, statistical analyses are typically done at the 95% confidence level, which means that there’s a 5% chance (or one in twenty) that the results are spurious — i.e., that a false positive or a false negative was obtained (so-called Type I or Type II errors). For example, a single clinical trial of a new medication might show that it is effective above placebo when in fact it isn’t, or show that it is not effective when in fact it is. When such experiments are repeated independently by others in different settings using other test subjects and they show similar results, the overall confidence in that result increases. If different results are obtained, this indicates that more work is needed. (All of this leaves aside the thorny issue of publication bias, where scientists tend preferentially to publish results that show positive findings.)

So much for 95%.

Expressed as the simplest possible fraction, 96% is equal to 24/25. 25 = 5^{2} is a perfect square. 24 = 2^{3}×3, and all integers that are relatively prime to 24 (i.e. all integers that don’t have 2 or 3 as a divisor, the smallest of which is 5) leave a quadratic residue of 1 modulo 24. For example, 97^{2} = 9,409, which leaves a remainder of 1 upon division by 24.

To find out whether the above is in any way relevant, you’ll have to consult your nearest numerologist. :

No, I strongly suspect it’s mostly marketing hype and bluster. “96 per cent” sounds like a nice impressive number but not as blatantly contrived and self-important as “100 per cent.” Translated, it says, “Most people prefer our product. There is a small minority that has a mind of its own and chooses differently.” Part of the hype is that it obscures the foot-in-the-door effect: If you first offer someone a sample of your product and then ask them if they would buy it elicits a much higher positive response rate than if you just ask them out of the blue. Also, saying that you will or might buy the offered product (whether you actually buy it or not) becomes a “preference” just as soon as the marketing magicians sprinkle their fairy dust on your statements. With such semantic sleight of mind, it’s hardly a wonder that competing products A and B are both preferred by 96% of consumers. It also means that they’ll be able to “justify” such preference claims if challenged.

Consider also that many of the products not preferred by that 96% would not remain viable for very long because sheer weight of the allegedly preferred product would drive them out: Why would any business-savvy floor manager waste precious shelf space stocking a dog of a competing product when the preferred product really does turn over 24 times as fast?

LOL, so true that. ;D This is sometimes coupled with asking the potential customer’s “preference” between two or more options early in the conversation. The “preference” is then artfully interpreted as meaning “choice”.

I’ve inflicted this technique with some success on my 5 year old, who usually picks the carrots over the cauliflower.

Well if you look at a bell curve you’d quickly realise you should only be listening to the top 10% of doctors. And maybe they’re the 10% who didn’t recommend…