Otto Titzlinger did not invent the bra

Life is filled with little stories meant to shock, amuse or teach us all a life lesson. Stories that defy probability fall under the category of “urban legend.” For example, it’s often touted that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure that can be viewed from outer space, when in fact it is virtually invisible from even a low earth orbit.

Quite frequently such legends are blindly accepted as truth by the general population, sometimes even quoted as historical fact in school textbooks. You really can’t believe everything you hear or read.

Take a look at the following list of nine product development urban legends and see if you can determine which of these are true and which are made-up-out-of-control-playing-the- telephone-game myths (be careful when scrolling, answers appear below):


  1. The most famous successful early experiment of subliminal advertising happened when a movie theatre inserted phrases such as “Hungry? Eat popcorn” into a film which dramatically increased concession sales.
  2. The flush toilet was invented by Thomas Crapper.
  3. The mother of Mike Nesmith, former member of 60’s TV Rock Band “The Monkees” invented Liquid Paper.
  4. The introduction and subsequent failure of New Coke was actually a clever marketing ploy to refresh the brand’s original product.
  5. The Chevrolet Nova sold poorly in Mexico because its name translates as “doesn’t go” in Spanish.
  6. Prankish Intel engineers etched the phrase “Bill sux” onto a new version of the Pentium chip as a stab at Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
  7. The Atari videogame company buried millions of unsold copies of the game, “E.T. The Extraterrestrial,” in a New Mexico desert landfill in the 1980s.
  8. Nike offered a personalization service for sneakers but rejected a customer who requested his shoes be embroidered with the word ‘sweatshop.’
  9. Mars, Inc., turned down the opportunity to have M&Ms be the candy featured in the film E.T., opening the door for new competitor, Hershey’s Reese’s Pieces.

Continue reading