Was Burger King's Left-Handed Whopper A Real Menu Item?

In today's world, marketing on social media is common, and marketing with humor gets results. This is why many businesses take to Twitter to flex their humor to connect with their audience and promote their products or services. One of those is Denny's, which is known for its quirky and often absurd tweets, often poking fun at current events and pop culture.

DiGiorno Pizza is another great example because the pizza company often tweets clever puns and jokes. Burger King's Twitter is also known for funny tweets, but before Twitter was a thing, Burger King turned to traditional marketing tactics to make customers laugh. For example, on April 1, 1998, the burger chain took out a full-page ad in USA Today, Mental Floss reports, advertising a left-handed whopper. It was marketed specifically to left-hand customers, leaving people scratching their heads and wondering if it was a real product. Was it?

All about the left-handed Whopper

If you read that date — April 1 — you probably already know that the ad came out on April Fool's Day. This holiday is known for its tradition of playing practical jokes and hoaxes on friends, family, colleagues, and — in Burger King's case — as many other people as you can. These pranks can range from simple jokes, such as putting a fake spider in someone's desk, to more elaborate hoaxes, like creating a fake ad for a fake product.

That's right; the left-handed Whopper was a practical joke. So, what was it? The ad claimed that the condiments on the burger had been rotated 180 degrees to accommodate left-handed consumers. The best part about the joke, perhaps, was that people believed it. According to The Mary Sue, gullible customers came to Burger King locations asking for the burger. The company came clean the following day, stating that it had all been one big hoax and that left-handed Whoppers (or, for that matter, right-handed Whoppers) don't exist. A burger is a burger, no matter what hand you use to hold it.

Corporate jokes abound

This type of tomfoolery by large corporations isn't unheard of; in fact, it's becoming increasingly popular. In 2010, the city of Topeka, Kansas, announced that it was changing its name to Google, according to CNET. This time, the joke was a way to help Topeka campaign for fast-speed broadband Internet, and it only lasted a day. The Collective Hub reports that Domino's pizza played a joke on customers on April Fool's Day 2013 when the company announced the new Domino's Deluxe canned pizza, available only in Japan. The pizza company even created a website to make it seem real.

As far as pranks go, Burger King's left-handed Whopper joke was probably one of the most expensive out there. The ad premiered nationwide on a Wednesday, meaning it went in all USA Today's publications. According to USA Today, national full-page ads cost nearly $200,000 for a weekday advertisement. That's one expensive joke!