I do not know what the heck is this ad trying to say.
When I grew up in the 1990s, it was not uncommon to see advertisements that take on a pseudo-scientific perspective to convince consumers to buy the product. Back then, 100% was the benchmark perfection that every product must hit.
UIC washing detergent would remove 100% of stains on your shirt and Oral B toothbrush would eliminate 100% of germs and bacteria in your mouth.
Everyone knew 100% was bullshit. But somehow it worked. Perhaps nobody questioned, or considered it worthwhile to question advertisements.
Around the turn of the millennium, I noticed that advertisements started to drop the 100% tag. Advertisers, recognising that nothing can ever be perfect, used 99% or 99.9% instead.
Except that 99% is equally bullshit. I remember reading that slight percentage drop as an implicit acknowledgement by the advertisers of their own puffery. The secret was already out, but consumers still liked to be tricked and the advertisers enjoyed playing along.
(Some dropped the scientific authority altogether. So UIC might simply be better than detergent X and Oral B became the brand dentists used themselves.)
I saw the advertisement in the top photograph at a bus stop last weekend and it brought to mind the above thoughts about the “scientific authorities” of Singaporean advertising. We took nearly two decades to bring the percentage down from 100 to 90.
I subsequently saw another poster in the same campaign, something about how the International Business Machines can help to reduce crime by 35%. Common sense has finally arrived at a believable figure.
As to who IBM is trying to sell crime reduction technology to, I do not know. I thought only the police would be interested. Or who would be interested in predicting traffic, other than the traffic police and the Land Transport Authority.