Hopefully by now you have recovered from the shock of fake engagements and pregnancies, donut boxes filled with vegetables, and wondering why companies are marketing to your animals. A good rule of thumb is to stay off the internet on April 1st – but some people still get fooled. Looking back for some great inspiration we found that April Fool’s jokes really thrived in the simpler days of the 90’s.
Like in 1996 when Taco Bell said they bought the naming rights to the famous Liberty Bell and renamed it legally as The Taco Liberty Bell. Needless to say that people took this so seriously that they jammed the phone lines to complain.
In case you thought the White House didn’t have a sense of humor, they claimed also in 1996 that they had sold the naming rights of the Lincoln Memorial to Ford renaming it Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial. Seems renaming famous monuments for April Fool’s was all the rage that year.
The 90s were a decade full of jokesters and politics were an easy button to push. A radio show claimed in 1992 that Richard Nixon had decided to run again with the slogan, “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.” This didn’t go over very well with listeners who jammed the phone lines proving the prank was a success.
When an entire company is in on a joke, and is willing to take out a full page ad in USA Today, you know it’s going to be good. Near the end of the decade in 1998 Burger King did just that with their Left-Handed Whopper made special for 32 million left-handed Americans. The difference? All Whopper ingredients were rotated 180 degrees. As not to feel left out, apparently thousands of right-handed Burger King customers demanded the Right-Handed Whopper as well that day. A marketing success.
Lastly Discover magazine received the most fan mail ever in response to a hoax article they published for the April issue in 1995. The premise? A new species had been discovered in Antartica called the hotheaded naked ice borer who had bony plates in their heads that became hot due to an excessive number of blood vessels allowing the creatures to bore through ice to hunt penguins. But what really got the science nerds in a tizzy was when they connected this new species to “the mysterious disappearance of noted Antarctic explorer Philippe Poisson in 1837.” And the rest is history.