What's Floating Around

What’s Floating Around? 27 March 2017

Spag BBC

Welcome to another week and we’re going slightly off topic this week. This coming Saturday is April Fool’s Day and whilst we love a good joke here at Cloud 9 Towers, we are normally a little too busy to create anything too imaginative on this day of high foolery.

So instead, we thought we would take a look at back at some of the best corporate pranks that have been staged and delivered starting with one that only those of a certain age will remember!

In 1957, the BBC announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper crop of spaghetti.  They also showed footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees.  Large numbers of viewers were fooled.  When many called the company wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree, BBC supposedly replied, “place a piece of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”

Not quite up to the same standards but in 1965 the Beeb were back with an interview with a professor who supposedly developed an amazing new technology, called “Smell-o-vision”, that allowed the transmission of smells over the airwaves.  Viewers would now be able to smell aromas produced in the television studio in their own homes because the machine broke scents down into their component molecules which were then transmitted through the screen.  He then demonstrated the technology by placing some coffee beans and onions into the Smell-o-vision machine.  He asked viewers to report whether they had smelled anything.  As would be expected, several viewers called in from across the country to confirm that they had distinctly experienced these scents.  Some even claimed that the onions made their eyes water.

But perhaps their best stunt was in 1980 when they reported that the iconic Big Ben, was going to be upgraded to be given a digital readout.  The report included people’s nostalgic reminiscences about the world’s most famous clock, such as anecdotes about the day it stopped and when it chimed 13 times instead of 12.  Finally, the service announced that the clock hands, being no longer needed, would be given away to the first four listeners to contact them. You can imagine the rest!

When it comes to hotels and travel, there have also been some imaginative pranks including LastMinute.com who in 2012 opened bookings for a new Top Secret, art deco-style hotel, which had “direct Thames access” and “was so hush-hush, guests wishing to stay in its rooms are required to sign the Official Secrets Act prior to check-in.” We didn’t hear what the people at MI5 thought about this or how many guests tried to book!

The ‘world’s first flying hotel’ was ‘revealed’ on Metro leaving readers baffled over their cornflakes. Heralding its arrival, the newspaper wrote: ‘Sky-high prices will be the norm at the world’s first flying hotel. ‘The 18 rooms in the ‘hotelicopter’ feature sound-proofing and whirlpool baths and are reserved for ‘adrenaline junkies seeking a truly unique experience’.’ Expert Alvin Farley was said to have spent half a decade converting a Russian 137m (450ft) Mil V-12!

Boutique hotel specialist Mr & Mrs Smith announced that they were teaming up with London Mayor Boris Johnson to launch ’boutique bendy-bus boltholes’. Their website stated: ‘Boris had the brilliant idea of inviting a number of top entrepreneurs to pitch on what to do with the notorious articulated buses that will no longer stay in London. ‘Gordon Ramsay wanted to transform them into a chain of gastrobuses; Xfm wanted to create intimate movable music venues along the lines of Australia’s party buses; but we’re proud to announce that it was boutique travel specialists Mr & Mrs Smith’s winning idea of turning them into boutique bendy-bus boltholes that won the day.’ The five-star vehicular ‘hotels’ were to allow guests to choose what ‘country’ they wanted to wake up in a world-themed tourist complex and included a 24-hour private butler decked out as a conductor.

So our advice is this, don’t believe everything you read and or see and take a liberal pinch of salt with you before engaging!

Have a great week and Happy April Fools Day for Saturday!