A fool short the next day, too.
Yesterday I posted a few different April Fool’s stories and I asked you to tell me which one of them was true and which wasn’t. Here again, was that first story:
One: In 1998 Burger King published a full-page advertisement in USA Today announcing the introduction of a new item to their menu, called the “Left-Handed Whopper,” which was specifically designed for the 32 million left-handed Americans. According to the ad, the new whopper included the same ingredients as the original Whopper (lettuce, tomato, hamburger patty, etc.), but all the condiments were rotated 180 degrees for the benefit of their left-handed customers. The following day Burger King issued a follow-up release, which admitted, even though the Left-Handed Whopper was a hoax, thousands of customers had gone into restaurants requesting this new sandwich. Also according to the press release, many other people requested their own ‘right handed’ version.
Perry Blouin believed this one was true. Here’s what he said: “Well Craig. I’d have to go with the Burger King story ads the true one. I’d hate to think our Gov is that stupid with the shark story or that British TV execs are so gullible. ATB! Perry”
Jim Symcox from the U.K. also thought this was the true story: “I reckon the Whopper was a whopper of a tall tale and the one that really happened. The other two stories were unbelievable because great white sharks are not freshwater sharks and fire alarm wires would not be allowed to create static electricity for the obvious reason they could start their own fire. Best wishes Jim”
And Dennis Tracy also believed the Burger King Story was true: “The Burger King Hoax is real. Give people something they want (just for them) and they will flock to it.”
The story is true. Burger King did run this press release and full-page advertisement and got LOADS of publicity from it.
Two: In 1982 the U.K. paper The Daily Mail reported that a local manufacturer had sold 10,000 “rogue bras” that were causing a unique problem, not to the wearers but to the public at large. Apparently the support wire in these bras had been made out of a kind of copper originally designed for use in fire alarms. When this copper came into contact with nylon and body heat, it produced static electricity, which was now interfering with local television and radio broadcasts. The chief engineer of British Telecom, upon reading the article, immediately ordered that all his female laboratory employees disclose what type of bra they were wearing. (Boing!)
This story actually happened, but it was a hoax. The paper was having some April Fools fun and it worked.
Three: This one’s for my friend and Thursday’s radio guest, Dave Brady: In 1981 the Herald-News in Roscommon, Michigan reported that 3 lakes in northern Michigan had been selected to host “an in-depth study into the breeding and habits of several species of fresh-water sharks.” Two thousand sharks were to be released into the lakes including blue sharks, hammerheads, and a few great whites. The experiment was designed to determine whether the sharks could survive in the cold climate of Michigan. The federal government was said to be spending $1.3 million to determine this, and a representative from the National Biological Foundation was quoted as saying that there would probably be a noticeable decline in the populations of other fish in the lake because “the sharks will eat about 20 pounds of fish each per day, more as they get older.” County officials were said to have protested the experiment, afraid of the hazard it would pose to fishermen and swimmers, but their complaints had been ignored by the federal government. Furthermore, fishermen had been forbidden from catching the sharks. The Herald-News received a flurry of letters in response to the announcement.
This story is also true. Similar to the last story, the paper ran this story as a hoax to have some fun.
The reason why EACH of these stories are so believable are because of the details and the specifics of each story. For example, in the shark story, they didn’t say “a study of fresh-water sharks”, they said “an in-depth study into the breeding and habits of several species of fresh-water sharks.” Giving specific details like this creates vivid imagery and gets your readers involved on a different level, both emotionally and experientially.
Giving a logical step-by-step explanation of how these wires conduct electricity is a LOT more believable than simply saying, “they’ll blow up,” isn’t it?
Being specific in your sales communication is one of THE best things you can do to gain credibility, build trust, and create “expert status.”
Again, the bulk of this info was provided by www.museumofhoaxes.com. And speaking of fools, remember… a fool and his money are soon parted.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. $1,391 Dollars in FREE Gifts awaits you when you test-drive my Offline Newsletter, right here: http://www.kingofcopy.com/ssnl
P.P.S. Mark your calendars for my radio show this week when I have a VERY special guest — a man who’s been the “secret weapon” behind LOADS of direct-response marketing mailers for the last 20 years. The show airs live at 1pm Eastern time on Thursdays, and you can listen in at http://www.kingofcopy.com/radio