BMW & April Fool's Day

Found in "British press has its fun on April Fool's Day" on

A full-page advert in The Guardian says new technology from BMW means drivers can now cook their dinners from their car as they drive home from work.

The advert for "SHEF technology" says it uses satellite technology to link controls in the car to the driver's oven in their kitchen at home. An "oven-cam" on the car dashboard shows how dinner is doing.

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Hoaxes and jokes from companies isn't anything new. The Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time lists quite a few ad/marketing related hoaxes.

Taco Bell ranks in at #4 for their hoax of purchasing the Liberty Bell and renaming it the Taco Liberty Bell in 1996.

Burger King ranks in at #8 for their hoax ad introducing the "left-handed Whopper" in 1998.

British supermarket chain, Tesco, comes in at #21 for an ad which ran in 2000 announcing "whistling carrots", genetically engineered carrots that whistled when cooked due to growing them with tapered airholes.

Guinness' press release in 1998 which stated that it would be the official beer sponsor of the Old Royal Observatory's millennium celebration by renaming Greenwich Mean time to Guinness Mean Time until the start of 2000 and change the name of seconds from "pips" to "pint drips" comes in at #23.

Ad agency, Hoffman york, gets the #63 spot with their 1999 claim of a new product, Total Home Remote Electricity. Informational packages were sent out to companies claiming that this new product could create a completely wireless house. No need to plug *anything* in. The number to call for more information was the agency's number, and the whole thing turned out to be a self-promo bit.

Number 68 is the report that aired on National Public Radio's All Things Considered program stating that companies such as Pepsi were sponsoring teenagers to tattoo their ears with corporate logos in 1994. In return for branding themselves with the corporate symbol, the teenagers would receive a lifetime 10% discount on that company's products. (And now we have things like this as reality, except the tatoos are fake and they end up on the forehead or stomach.)

Miller Beer comes in at #72 for it's annoucement in 2000 of being the exclusive sponsor of the phenomenon of Marfa, Texas, US called the Marfa Mystery Lights. Under the terms of the agreement, Miller Beer claimed they would change the name of the Lights to "Miller Lites."

Number 88 is about an ad from 1999 for the Savings Bank of Rockville which announced a new $5 fee for using a live teller for bank buisness, to provide, "professional, caring and superior customer service."

Virgin Cola announced in 1996 that it had evolved a new technology which turned the can of soda past it's expiration date a bright blue color, after the liquid reacted with the metal of the can. Virgin cautioned consumers to avoid blue cans, which was the color of the newly designed cans of Pepsi. This comes in at #99.

Know of any others?

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    Apr 06, 2004
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caffeinegoddess I'm a creative director and copywriter with digital, integrated, and traditional expertise. I love sound strategy and great executions.