2006: Customer Rewards

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Customer Rewards
We'll pay you $1.47 to post on social media about our products, $2.05 to mention it in any group chats you're in, and 11 cents per passenger each time you drive your office carpool past one of our billboards.
Title text: We'll pay you $1.47 to post on social media about our products, $2.05 to mention it in any group chats you're in, and 11 cents per passenger each time you drive your office carpool past one of our billboards.


Many supermarkets offer customers loyalty programs that give discounts. To join one of these programs you often need to give various personal data, such as your name, or download an app that can access your Facebook account. The supermarket gets lots of valuable marketing data to target the customer in the future. They think this will make lots of money for them, so they entice people to do this. This is why it is able to offer a discount to members of the program.

Here, Cueball is at a store where the clerk is offering to give him benefits in exchange for data and to help them advertise their products. This comic imagines the exchange of data for a discount as the sales clerk offering cash at the point of sale, to emphasize how odd this exchange is. Not to mention, when flat-out asking to see someone's phone to write down their contact info and look at all their Facebook posts it sounds disturbingly like uncouth data harvesting, not too far removed from potential identity theft.

The title text continues this by considering how companies will also find ways to incentivize positive viral marketing or offer services in exchange for viewing adverts. By imagining these situations as if they were cash transactions makes them seem ridiculous.

Amount Reward offers Explanation
24¢ Last name Possibly used to gather additional data from Facebook or to guess the customer's ethnicity.
35¢ List of family members So that the merchant can send them targeted advertisements.
79¢ Cell number So that the merchant can send you targeted telemarketing advertisements.
$1.20 Facebook posts So that the merchant can see what you're interested in and tailor advertisements to you.
$1.47 Post products on social media Paying the customer to create advertisements for them.
$2.05 Mention products in group chats Movie and television studios get kickbacks from companies when products are mentioned or used in media.
11¢ Per passenger when driving past billboard in office carpool Like putting the store's ads on your website, blog, or podcast.

All this information is used to send personalized ads which have a better chance of succeeding and earning money for the store owner.


[To the right Cueball stands in front of a sales desk, his shopping bag on the desk. Behind the desk on the left is a sales clerk wearing a peaked cap and typing on a cash register.]
Sales clerk: That will be $23.03.
Sales clerk: Also, I'll pay you 24 cents for your last name, 35 cents for a list of your family members, 79 cents for your cell number, and $1.20 if you hand me your phone and let me scroll through your Facebook posts.
[Caption below the panel:]
Loyalty cards and rewards account offers get way weirder if you think of them as separate transactions.

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For the transcript's description, I wouldn't consider that hat to be a baseball cap. Baseball caps are generally rounded (like the head) and that one's flat on the top... 15:47, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

You're right, no guesses at the transcript. It's just simply a peaked cap. And the salesman isn't a Cueball with hat, Black Hat isn't a Cueball with a black hat as well. --Dgbrt (talk) 21:08, 13 June 2018 (UTC)
Also, 1221 clearly shows a baseball cap, and this hat does not match. 02:26, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

In the comic image, the subtotal is $20.45, which probably refers to the future comic 2045. --Fakefred (talk) 01:00, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

If the title text were ever implemented I'd use social media a lot more lol 01:12, 14 June 2018 (UTC)

I'm not playing that many phone games and I still found several incentives giving in-game cash for posting to social media from the game. Sure, you can't convert that cash back to money ... -- Hkmaly (talk) 06:21, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
I use Google Play Rewards, which is pretty similar to this premise; except they never tell you how much Google Play Store credit you'll earn for a given question until you've answered it! So far I've bought every app I like & have been spending the rest on games. By now, it mostly asks me the same questions in different order. I just got 23¢ for answering (yet again) that I've never been to a "Kelp's Water Slides" (is that even a real thing?); My Play Store credit is around $10 right now. Haven't paid for an app in years. Ironically, I use AdGuard to block ads & tracking tokens in apps & on the web, yet I have no qualms about telling Google almost anything they want to know about me, since virtually everything in my life runs through Google anyway. -- ProphetZarquon (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

This is EXACTLY how I look at online contests, like more recent years' version of the McDonald's Monopoly contest. "Enter this code online to win!", not mentioning that in order to do so, you have to register some of this valuable personal information. Or make it easy by logging in with Facebook, and provide THAT info, LOL! NiceGuy1 (talk) 03:21, 15 June 2018 (UTC)

If you're curious, it'd take 154 passengers to begin making money. Anyone got a plane? (talk) 03:18, 14 November 2022 (please sign your comments with ~~~~)