In 1957 the BBC fooled their viewers on the news show Panorama. A news reporter told viewers that the Swiss spaghetti harvest was busy gathering a plentiful crop. There was footage showing peasants pulling spaghetti from trees. Viewers who called in to the station asked about how to grow a spaghetti tree. The BBC answer was to "place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best."
An Australian millionaire towed an iceberg from Antarctica to Sydney harbour in 1978. Many people were very excited and rushed to the shore to see it. As the iceberg approached it started to rain and the hoax was revealed. The 'iceberg' was made of shaving cream!
In 1996 the restaurant chain 'Taco Bell' purchased full pages ads in seven major newspapers across the U.S. The ads announced that Taco Bell had bought the famous Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American Independence, and was changing its name to 'Taco Liberty Bell'. Even though it said that the purchase was to 'help alleviate national debt' thousands of people were outraged. The phone rang hot with people protesting until Taco Bell revealed the hoax. Taco Bell earned millions of dollars in free publicity with this strategy.
The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) played an April 1 trick on the English people in 1980. They announced that Big Ben was going digital and the clock hands were up for sale to the highest bidder. The British people were really angry about losing the world's largest chiming clock located at Westminster Palace in London.
A New Zealand DJ announced to his listeners that a mile-wide wasp swarm was headed towards Auckland. He urged his listeners to take various steps to protect themselves such as wearing socks over their trousers to go to work and leaving honey-smeared traps outside their houses. Hundreds of people followed his advice until he admitted it was an April Fools joke.
A Canadian radio station informed it's listener that the Y2k bug would affect all CD players making music discs unreadable. However, a Hologram sticker was available for free to enable the old format discs to continue working. The phones became jammed both at record companies and the radio station, and everyone was demanding the stickers. The calls continued even after the joke was disclosed.
In 2011, Air New Zealand announced its new 'Pay by Weight' plan, where passengers would be charged according to their weight. They added that it was an ideal way to 'decrease your airfare and your waistline at the same time'.
Virgin Blue Airlines in Australia followed New Zealand's prank with a 'No Chair Fare' – an offer for passengers to buy standing-room only tickets on domestic flights! This promotion would add a calf massage for flights longer than two hours. More than 1000 people tried to book the tickets!