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candy bars

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candy bars

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Sales of a new chocolate bar were considerably boosted recently by an advertisement that featured a classic rock song. The candy manufacturer's decision to also use classic rock songs in commercials for its older and more popular products, in the hopes of boosting profits, is NOT based on the assumption that ___________________.

A. thanks to the new advertising strategy, all of the company's older products will sell at least as well as the new chocolate bar.
B. sales of a particular product can be increased by a memorable or catchy advertisement campaign.
C. use of classic rock songs will be more commercially effective than the advertising techniques currently used by the company for its older products
D. the majority of customers who buy one kind of candy bar from the company will not stop buying other candy bars made by the same company.
E. the licensing costs associated with using classic rock songs in commercials will be substantially offset by the increased profits resulting from those commercials.

A

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This is a Complete the Passage question; let's start by paraphrasing the argument:

Ad w/song boosts sales. Company to use songs in older/popular products to increase sales.

What's the assumption here? That it will WORK! The company is assuming using the classic rock songs on the older/popular products won't HURT their sales.

The blank sentence has two major keywords: "NOT" and "assumption." So we're actually looking for something that is NOT an assumption. Basically, it can be anything that would NOT lead to the desired outcome: increase sales for older products.

The correct answer must either be totally irrelevant to the sales of the new product once the ad with the classic rock songs is launched, or something that will be the opposite and show the sales would DECREASE.

Prediction: No effect of songs on sales, or sales will decrease w/the songs.

Let's carefully analyze each choice. Is this an assumption, something irrelevant, or something opposite of the assumption?

A) Irrelevant - the comparison between the new and old products is irrelevant -- the conclusion is concerned only with the profits to be made on the older products with the new ads -- KEEP!

B) Increase - this shows a positive effect, so can be eliminated since we're looking for Irrelvant/Decrease.

C) Increase - this shows a positive effect of the conclusion; can be eliminated

D) Increase - this shows a positive effect and so could be a possible assumption; the author is assuming the success of Campaign #1 would not negatively effect Campaign #2

E) Increase - again, if this is true, this positively effects the conclusion and shows a possible increase in profits. But recall, because of the word "NOT" we are looking for something that will NOT back up the conclusion here. The correct answer must either HURT the conclusion, or be totally irrelevant.

By process of elimination, the correct answer must be (A), since the other choices are possible assumptions. We know they are all possible assumptions because if we negate (reverse) them, they significantly damage the conclusion.

Good question, Vipulgoyal!

Best,
Vivian

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Last edited by VivianKerr on Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:45 pm; edited 1 time in total

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vipulgoyal wrote:
Sales of a new chocolate bar were considerably boosted recently by an advertisement that featured a classic rock song. The candy manufacturer's decision to also use classic rock songs in commercials for its older and more popular products, in the hopes of boosting profits, is NOT based on the assumption that ___________________.

A. thanks to the new advertising strategy, all of the company's older products will sell at least as well as the new chocolate bar.
B. sales of a particular product can be increased by a memorable or catchy advertisement campaign.
C. use of classic rock songs will be more commercially effective than the advertising techniques currently used by the company for its older products
D. the majority of customers who buy one kind of candy bar from the company will not stop buying other candy bars made by the same company.
E. the licensing costs associated with using classic rock songs in commercials will be substantially offset by the increased profits resulting from those commercials.
Plan: Use classic rock songs in commercials for older and more popular products.
Conclusion: Profits will be boosted.

When the question stem uses a word in UPPER CASE LETTERS, rephrase the question stem with the upper case word OMITTED.
Question stem, rephrased:
The candy manufacturer's decision is based on the assumption that _________:
Strategy:
Eliminate the four answer choices that ARE assumptions.
Choose the remaining answer choice.

An ASSUMPTION is WHAT MUST BE TRUE for the plan to work.
To determine whether an answer choice must be true, apply the NEGATION TEST.
When an answer choice that must be true is negated, the argument will FALL APART.

Answer choices, negated:
A. Thanks to the new advertising strategy, NOT ALL of the company's older products will sell at least as well as the new chocolate bar.
B. Sales of a particular product CANNOT be increased by a memorable or catchy advertisement campaign.
C. Use of classic rock songs WILL NOT be more commercially effective than the advertising techniques currently used by the company for its older products
D. The majority of customers who buy one kind of candy bar from the company WILL STOP buying other candy bars made by the same company.
E. The licensing costs associated with using classic rock songs in commercials WILL NOT be substantially offset by the increased profits resulting from those commercials.


The negations of B, C, D and E all trash the conclusion that profits will be boosted, implying that these answer choices are assumptions: answer choices that MUST BE TRUE for the plan to work.
Eliminate B, C, D and E.

The negation of A does not invalidate the conclusion.
If not all of the company's older products will sell at least as well as the new chocolate bar, the company can still boost profits.

The correct answer is A.

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