On April 1, 1996, Taco Bell took out full page ads in six major newspapers to announce a transformative acquisition.

A thread on one of the greatest April Fools’ Day pranks (and viral marketing campaigns) of all time...
Taco Bell is a chain of fast food restaurants offering attractively-priced, Mexican-inspired foods.

It was founded by Glen Bell in Downey, California in 1962.

By 1996, it had thousands of locations around the world.

The organic growth was great, but the team had bigger plans.
Management got to work.

After planning in secret for several months, they prepared to make a big, splashy announcement.

On April 1, 1996, they were finally ready.

Taco Bell ran a full page ad in six major U.S. newspapers announcing a transformative acquisition.
“Taco Bell Buys The Liberty Bell”

The ad explained that, in an effort to help the national debt, Taco Bell had acquired the Liberty Bell.

It would be renamed The Taco Liberty Bell, but remain available for public viewing.

The news caused an immediate uproar.
Thousands of calls poured in to Taco Bell HQ, the National Park Service, and the Liberty Bell Center.

A National Park Service employee was quoted as saying, “We were shocked. We had no idea this was happening.”

Aides for two U.S. Senators placed calls to understand the news.
While the news of the acquisition was fake - it was April Fools’ Day, after all! - the viral marketing engine it ignited was very real.

1,000+ media outlets covered the story, including The Today Show and Good Morning America.

It reached over 70 million Americans!
In the end, the April Fools’ Day prank cost Taco Bell $300K, but was estimated to have generated over $25 million in free publicity.

Sales at the chain spiked in the weeks that followed.

The Liberty Bell was safe and sound.

Oh, and the national debt remained enormous...
The Taco Liberty Bell campaign goes down as one of the best April Fools’ Day pranks - and one of the highest ROI viral marketing campaigns - in history.

Follow me for more interesting threads on business. You can find all of my threads in the meta thread below.
And for those of you who are less Twitter inclined, subscribe to my newsletter at the link below to receive my threads (plus audio versions!) directly to your inbox. Sahilbloom.substack.com

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Sahil Bloom

Sahil Bloom Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @SahilBloom

28 Mar
Ikigai is a powerful concept for finding purpose and clarity to unlock growth in your career, startup, business, writing, or relationships.

A thread on its meaning and how it can change your life...
Ikigai is a combination of the Japanese words “iki” (or “life”) and “gai” (a term to describe value or worth).

It roughly translates to “reason for being.”

It is all-encompassing - it is not simply about work, money, or success - it is about the full scope of your existence.
Ikigai is the point of balance and harmony in your life and work.

It is found at the intersection of:
(1) What you love to do
(2) What you are good at
(3) What the world needs
(4) What you can be paid for

Importantly, it is at the nexus of passion and practicality.
Read 12 tweets
26 Mar
The story of the week in the business world is the complete blockage of the Suez Canal by a massive container ship.

Weighing 200,000 metric tons, dislodging the ship is no easy problem to solve.

But while it happened in 2021, the roots of this problem date back to 1937...
A thread on Malcolm McLean, containerization, and how it changed the world...
For more on the current Suez Canal blockage, the history of the Suez Canal, and its impact, check out this great article from the @nytimes. nytimes.com/2021/03/25/wor…
Read 5 tweets
20 Mar
To outperform, you need serious competitive advantages.

But contrary to what you have been told, most of them don't require talent.

10 competitive advantages that you can start developing today:
Intellectual Curiosity

Intellectual curiosity is a real-world superpower. We all have it, but most will never embrace it.

For the curious mind, anything is possible.

Fortune favors the curious mind.
Comfort with Discomfort

We are conditioned to avoid discomfort, so most of us do.

The problem?

Discomfort leads to growth. It is an absolute necessity.

If you train yourself to accept and embrace discomfort, you will always have an edge.
Read 14 tweets
17 Mar
Hanlon's Razor is a simple mental model for cutting through negative noise and unlocking growth in your career, startup, business, or relationships.

A short thread on what it is and how it can change your life...
A philosophical "razor" is a principle or rule of thumb used to simplify a decision.

The "razor" quite literally cuts through the unnecessary detail, noise, and information that slows our decision-making processes.

Razors can promote quick, rational, high-quality decisions.
Occam's Razor is the most well-known of the philosophical razors.

It says that when you are weighing alternative hypotheses, the one with the fewest necessary assumptions should be chosen.

In short: simple is beautiful.

I wrote on Occam's Razor below.
Read 15 tweets
14 Mar
First principles thinking is a powerful mental model for driving non-linear outcomes. It also requires a willingness to ask difficult, uncomfortable questions.

Here are a few to help you get started:
What is the problem I am trying to solve?

We often waste time and energy trying to solve the "wrong" problem.

Identify the "right" problem before you start trying to solve it.
What do I know to be true about this problem?

Write down everything you know about the problem (and its previously attempted solutions).
Read 11 tweets
11 Mar
The story of the last few weeks in finance has been the bond market volatility and its impact on equity markets.

A thread on the basics of bonds, yields, and the yield curve to help you make sense of it all...
1/ First, a few quick definitions.

A bond is a loan given to a borrower (usually a company or government) from an investor.

The borrower is said to "issue” a bond, putting it up for sale.

Investors “buy” the bond, providing the loan.
2/ The bond has a "maturity date" on which the borrower must return the remaining principal balance to the investor.

It has a "coupon rate" - the interest rate the borrower has to pay the investor as compensation for taking the risk of loaning money.

High Risk = High Coupon.
Read 21 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!