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What Hägar the Horrible and the Chiquita Banana Girl Have in Common

At first glance, it may seem like a Carmen Miranda-inspired fruit and an overweight, redheaded Viking probably wouldn’t have much to talk about at a party. But the mismatched pair have one very important thing in common: Their creator, Dik Browne.

Before Browne was a regular on the comics page with strips like Hägar the Horrible and Hi and Lois, he paid the bills by working at advertising firm Johnstone & Cushing. There, he was one of the company’s most prolific artists, known for being able to draw without looking down. Browne’s skill became even more evident when he illustrated not one, not two, but three iconic advertising characters and logos that remain in use even today. Not only did he create the “First Lady of Fruit” for the Chiquita company in 1944, he also came up with the Birds Eye bird and a more modern redesign of the Campbell’s Soup kids.

It was one of Browne’s ads for Mounds candy bars that caught the attention of Mort Walker, the man behind the popular Beetle Bailey strip. Walker was working on a spin-off for Beetle Bailey’s sister, Lois, and felt that Browne’s style was just the ticket. He was right, and Hi and Lois has been running in newspapers since 1954.

Browne eventually gave up his advertising career to focus on comic strips, creating Hagar in 1973. But the iconic characters he drew for Johnstone & Cushing clients live on, even decades later.

Here’s the original Chiquita Banana commercial, by the way—props to them for working “most digestible” into a catchy jingle.

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How Google Chrome’s New Built-In Ad Blocker Will Change Your Browsing Experience
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If you can’t stand web ads that auto-play sound and pop up in front of what you’re trying to read, you have two options: Install an ad blocker on your browser or avoid the internet all together. Starting Thursday, February 15, Google Chrome is offering another tool to help you avoid the most annoying ads on the web, Tech Crunch reports. Here’s what Google Chrome users should expect from the new feature.

Chrome’s ad filtering has been in development for about a year, but the details of how it will work were only recently made public. “While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we've increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive,” Google wrote in a blog post. “As we announced last June, Chrome will tackle this issue by removing ads from sites that do not follow the Better Ads Standards.

That means the new feature won’t block all ads from publishers or even block most of them. Instead, it will specifically target ads that violate the Better Ad Standards that the Coalition for Better Ads recommends based on consumer data. On desktop, this includes auto-play videos with sound, sticky banners that follow you as you scroll, pop-ups, and prestitial ads that make you wait for a countdown to access the site. Mobile Chrome users will be spared these same types of ads as well as flashing animations, ads that take up more than 30 percent of the screen, and ads the fill the whole screen as you scroll past them.

These criteria still leave room for plenty of ads to show up online—the total amount of media blocked by the feature won’t even amount to 1 percent of all ads. So if web browsers are looking for an even more ad-free experience, they should use Chrome’s ad filter as a supplement to one of the many third-party ad blockers out there.

And if accessing content without navigating a digital obstacle course first doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry: On sites where ads are blocked, Google Chrome will show a notification that lets you disable the feature.

[h/t Tech Crunch]

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Why Subliminal Messaging Doesn't Work (Unless You Want It To)
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Subliminal messages—hidden phrases in TV programs, movies, and ads—probably won't make you run out and join the Navy, appreciate a band's music, or start smoking. That's because these sneaky suggestions don't really change consumer behavior, even though many people believe otherwise, according to Sci Show Psych.

We say "don't really" because subliminal messages can sway the already motivated, research shows. For example, a 2002 study of 81 college students found that parched subjects drank more water after being subliminally primed with words like "dry" and "thirsty." (Participants who weren't already thirsty drank less.) A follow-up experiment involving 35 undergrads yielded similar results, with dehydrated students selecting sports drinks described as "thirst-quenching" over "electrolyte-restoring" after being primed for thirst. Experiments like these won't work on, say, chocolate-loving movie audiences who are subliminally instructed by advertisers to purchase popcorn instead.

Learn more about how subliminal messaging affects (or doesn't affect) our decision-making, and why you likely won't encounter ads with under-the-radar suggestions on the regular.

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