Best Ever April Fool's Pranks from Business

Last Updated Apr 1, 2009 8:09 AM EDT

  • The Find: It's April Fool's Day in gloomy times and everyone could use a few laughs, so Business Pundit is rounding up the ten best April Fool's pranks by companies of all time. Enjoy.
  • The Source: The blog Business Pundit.
The Takeaway: Forget the image of the businessman as a serious character all buttoned up in his (or her) suit. The reality is that companies love April Fool's Day and seem to be good at it too, so without further ado, here's five of Business Pundit's picks for the best pranks of all time :
  • Burger King's Left-Handed Whopper: Burger King ran a full-page ad in USA Today in 1998 unveiling the left-handed whopper, a burger whose condiments were turned 180 degrees to benefit left-handed consumers. Burger King claimed that thousands of customers flocked to the chain to request the special Whoppers.
  • Signal-Disrupting Bras: In 1982, the Daily Mail reported that 10,000 locally manufactured bras were interfering with radio and TV broadcasts through an extremely conductive copper underwire. The metal in the underwire was normally used in fire alarms; heat and nylon made it produce signal-disrupting static electricity.
  • Sports Illustrated's Sidd Finch: Sports Illustrated took advantage of April Fool's Day in 1985 by publishing an article about Sidd Finch, a new Mets' recruit with a 168mph pitch. Finch had purportedly learned the "art of the pitch" from a Tibetan master named Lama Milaraspa.
  • Richard Branson's UFO: A mysterious flying saucer landed in a field near London on March 31, 1989. The police arrived to inspect the scene and were shocked to see a human-like figure in a silver suit step out. The "alien" was actually Virgin's Richard Branson, who had built a hot air balloon to resemble a UFO. He had intended to land in Hyde Park on April Fool's Day, but the wind forced him to abandon the mission a day before April Fool's.
  • Taco Bell Renames the Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell announced that it was renaming the Liberty Bell to the Taco Liberty Bell. The phone lines at Philadelphia's National Historic Park were clogged with citizen complaints at the unacceptable move.
For the complete list of ten pranks, check out the blog. And for even more gags, check out the personal favorites of Joanna Higgins on BNET's Sterling Performance.

(Image of jester goofiing arond by Time Tart's HIstorical Solutions, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.