Home > Blog > Take No Fools – April the 1st in Marketing

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Obviously not true, is it! Although we all totally wish it were…

It’s that time of year again. That time when you can’t quite believe what you see online… That time when brand and marketing managers flex their creativity muscle and tell us something, that simply isn’t true.

You may as well turn off Instagram and LinkedIn for the day and just rest assured that none of the big brands’ pranks will get you this year!!

How do we approach this rather odd ‘celebration’ of tom-foolery? As a marketer, it’s a fine line between a prank and a 24-hour lie.

And the ‘prank’ has to be funny too, right? It can’t just mislead people, no one wants to feel like they’ve been conned! You can’t be Apple for example and reduce your Macs to half price and then go ‘April Fools’, that’s never going to wash!

Some big businesses like Microsoft, for example, have previously initiated a blanket ban on all April 1st based humour. In a memo released by the tech giants, Microsoft notes how ‘Pranks’ had a “limited impact”’, highlighting that badly judged jokes end up as “unwanted news cycles” and are overall detrimental to the brand.

We wanted to highlight some of those brands that have totally nailed April Fools Day pranks, and caught even the most sceptical of us out, as well as those who have totally missed their audience! Facepalm!

Let’s score them in terms of humour and fool’ability. Starting with…

Tinders Height Verification

Tinder trolled its users by the introduction of a Height Verification badge. Knowing that height plays a vital role when looking for our soul mates, especially to those less vertically rewarded amongst us. The feature description stated”

“Simply input your true, accurate height with a screenshot of you standing next to any commercial building. We’ll do some state-of-the-art verifying and you’ll receive your badge directly on your profile,”

Tinder Says They Are Launching A New Height Verification Feature – BroBible

Humour: 7/10

Fool’ability: 8/10

Jameson: A glittering deterrent

Jameson, the whiskey manufacturer, created a video that appeared to show an anti-theft device added to the design of their iconic bottle. Jameson ‘Catchmates’ comes with ‘Glittershot Technology’. They state that one twist of the cap from any whisky stealing loved one or roommate, they will be presented with a boom of green sparkly glitter.

Humour: 6/10

Fool’ability: 4/10

Travelodge: Bedshare service

 

In an attempt to rival the lower-priced economy hotels, Travelodge launched their Bedshare services offering you the chance to split your bill 50/50 with a stranger you share a room with. Everything is divided down the middle so no one gets any funny ideas, including the full English or continental breakfast the next day.

Travelodge Hotels launches new Bedshare service and the doonas are divided

Humour: 7/10

Fool’ability:3/10


Maryland: Avocado cookies

 

One we kinda wish was true… Following the Avocado craze of smashing it to pieces and serving it on toast, Maryland has taken it one step further. Claiming to have used ‘refined avocado powder’ in lieu of traditional flour, creating a cookie that actually might be good for you with the biscuit maker claiming it to be the ultimate ‘Instagramable snack’.

Burton's Biscuit Co on Twitter: "Forget smashed avo' on toast, #Maryland has taken the millennials' favourite food craze one step further with the launch of its brand-new Avocado Cookie. Read more here:

Humour: 7/10

Fool’ability: 8/10

 

BMW: Lunar paint

 

As the name suggests on this one, BMW unveiled a new feature to help its customers “push the limits of electric driving” stating they will be able to add ‘luna paint’ as an optional extra on their i series BMW. Claiming it has ‘revolutionary photovoltaic technology to harness the power of the moon and passively recharge your battery in the hours of darkness. 

It’s one small step for man.

BMW Lunar Paint, the next step in electric driving | Latest Technology

Humour: 8/10

Fool’ability: 2/10

KitKat: Tea Time

The break time snack giants tricked us into believing they had spent 4 years researching the optimum blend of tea leaves to go with its popular break time treat. Coming in a range of teabag sizes, mimicking their 4-finger, 2-finger and chunky chocolate bars.

Have a break, have a KitKat tea break! | Nestlé

Humour: 7/10

Fool’ability: 7/10

Sainsbury’s: Pink avocados

 

To highlight what a trend they are, another one featuring the famous avocado. This time it was Sainsbury’s turn to trick us with its limited-edition, naturally grown pink avocado. Would you eat a pink avocado? Seems suspect to me…

April Fool's Day 2019: Best jokes so far, from the McDonald's 'McPickle' to spreadable Yorkshire Tea | The Independent | The Independent

Humour: 5/10

Fool’ability: 6/10

Vegan Spam

Last, but by no means least, is Vegan Spam, from, well Spam. Roberts Food (the maker of Spam) jumped on another viral trend and launched this plant-based version of their iconic tinned Spam.

What vegan out there is desperate for that taste of Spam in their life, we ask?

Are You Ready To Flavor Town With Vegan Spam? | Dieline - Design, Branding & Packaging Inspiration

Humour: 5/10

Fool’ability: 4/10

So in conclusion…

Jokes are funny, and people like to laugh. Research shows us that 86% of people think humour is one of the best ways a company can connect with them. 68% even say they think April Fools’ campaigns were funny.

So if you’re in charge of your April Fools content this year for your brand, remember to make it memorable, without being insulting. Believable, with being misleading and above all funny.

But always, at your own expense.


The parrot thing, that’s totally true. Great at keyword research, they do SQR’wak a lot though! 🦜😂

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