- Garfield had a nice Deadpan Snarker moment with this phrase.
"To think, all this time I've been eating old and inferior."
- Parodied in a Steak'n'Shake commercial claiming their steakburgers are "Old!" and "Unimproved!" The implication, of course, being that they need no improvement.
- The famous case of Tampax Tampons being "Improved" by putting fewer tampons in a box. This resulted in a drop in sales, and Tampax had another "New and Improved" going back to the old quantity. So for those of you keeping track at home, two improvements = no change.
- The automotive industry is the undisputed master of this trope (especially notorious among the American auto manufacturers), so much that the automotive publications industry (you know, as in Car & Driver and Motortrend?) is the undisputed master at countering the automotive industry's mastery. You see, cars (much like other things) are defined in "generations" with each "generation" being defined as having a significant improvement over the preceding one. The current model of Corvette, for example, is currently in its "sixth generation." Because the gestation period of a new generation of a particular car model is so long (and expensive), most models go through a "mid-life update" (sometimes multiple updates) where minor and easy things are changed to at least make the car look more competitive against the truly latest generations of competing models. Of course, you would only really be aware of this from reading previously mentioned automotive publications and having them explain the deceptive terminology behind this, because, of course, the manufacturers will always pass off these "freshened" models as completely and totally 100% "redesigned" and "re-engineered" from the ground up, even when its blatantly obvious that the most significant change to the model is minor exterior styling changes. Lately, however, the manufacturers have taken it up to the next level, blurring the lines between a truly new "generation" and "mid-life update" thanks to improved manufacturing and engineering processes which are able to make minor and cheap yet truly tangible and appreciative changes to a car model, at least from the buyer's perspective (for example, truly redesigned or enlarged interiors).
- In one that flew completely under the radar, Old El Paso, a brand primarily known for making salsa, began advertising their "New and improved zesty flavor". What they really did was doubled the salt and nothing else. Please note: "zesty" is completely meaningless.
- Legally, a product can be considered 'new and improved' if there is a 'substantial alteration in the product's performance or operation'. Usually, it's through the addition or alteration of the formula; since the formula (and thus, the product) is technically 'new' and the product itself is demonstrably 'improved', it's nearly bulletproof when it comes to advertising law.
- Parodied in the "diamond shreddies" advertising campaign.
- Inverted by Monster Munch in the UK: on their packets they advertise "
NewOld! Bigger like they used to be! (as in 1977)"
- Walkers Crisps did this on several occasions. Nobody was able to tell the difference as most of the time, they were able to replace ingredients without the flavour significantly changing. However, there was at least one instance of them having to own up to it. They had to change the name of the flavour "Barbecue" to "Bbq Rib" because it tasted so different with the new ingredients. Many people who liked "Barbecue" also like "BBQ Rib" but think it should have been launched as a different flavour, rather than replace one of their favourites.
- Many shops, when being renovated, have a sign on the outside saying something like 'Sorry for the wait. We're improving the shop for your convenience'. People who enter said improved shop rarely find anything has happened except things have been moved around. Hardly convenient.
- Even better, these "improvements" often move commonly purchased items "conveniently" to the back of the store to force customers to see other mechandise.
- In one which is an inversion, Irn Bru has had Original And Best on its cans for years, but the formula has never actually been changed. The reason for this is that it was the first and most prominent iron brew to be produced.
- Inverted by ads for Shredded Wheat. "Not new. Not improved. One honest ingredient since 1892."