We appreciate we’re a little late, but in the spirit of lightening up your busy day of marketing we’ve rounded up the top ten digital campaigns that have pranked and entertained April fools all over the world. Marketing is no joke, but if you can’t add in a bit of fun and share a laugh with your customers once in a while, the joke’s really on you.
So, let’s see the brands who have had a crack and more importantly the ones that have succeeded by injecting a bit of joy into their marketing material.
The Redbox Meat Scandal
DVD rentals brand, Redbox got the idea and really baffled its recipients with the most talked about April Fools email prank this year. Redbox’s campaign promoted its new ‘lunch meat’ product line of
‘DVD-shaped cold cuts including bologna, turkey and liverwurst’,
…not forgetting to appeal to all those international cuisine-loving movie junkies.
The Newegg.com price wind-up
We always bang on about the value of a funny subject line, and what better time than April fools?
Newegg.com went with a simple:
‘April 1st Specials! Samsung 23” 1080p LED-LCD Monitor ONLY $900! Well, Minus About $760…’
Hoping to shock people into thinking they were actually charging nearly £1000 for a simple monitor.
Okay, it’s not quite Live at the Apollo, but regular openers will have definitely squinted at the screens when it drifted into their inbox.
State Of Alabama changes the value of Pi!?
Okay, we’re cheating a little here, because technically this was a print newsletter, back in the dark days of 1998 before dotMailer was empowering brands with its unworldly email marketing services.
However, in terms of virality, the New Mexicans for Science and Reason’s April fools gag was among the best ever.
By claiming that the state of Alabama had voted to change the value of Pi from 3.14159 to the round number of 3, the group caused chaos as confused recipients sought confirmation of the law change from an equally confused local government.
Talksport confuses Chelsea fans (not always difficult)
Talksport loves an April Fool’s prank and this year the controversial chairman of Chelsea FC, Roman Abramovich, was the perfect protagonist.
Okay, football fans don’t have a great reputation for double checking their sources before spreading vicious rumours, but making a hoax interview with Stamford Bridge legend, Gianluca Vialli, claiming that the Russian tycoon was set to name himself as the next Chelsea manager added another dimension to this particular piece of skulduggery.
Google has a nose for a joke
Google excelled itself with Google Nose just by the sheer level of effort it put into convincing its customers by producing a video introducing the first smartphone that could be searched using scent.
We particularly love the comedic use of jargon such as ‘our mobile aroma indexing program’ – excellent stuff! It seems farfetched but we can see a few people falling for that one.
Ryanair expels children
The low-cost airline will have had a few people red faced with anger and embarrassment with their hoax survey of 1,000 passengers claiming that people would pay higher fares to avoid children.
Having been outraged by Ryanair’s announcement of introducing ‘child free’ flights, April fools were later relieved to find out that the whole episode had been a massive mickey-take.
Twitter moves its vowels
Social media users turned losers for a few brief moments on April 1st 2013 when they began to furiously search the web to confirm Twitter’s announcement that it would be replaced by ‘Twttr’ and that ‘Twitter’ would become a premium, five dollars a month service, where you could actually use vowels! We say genius, or should that be ‘gns’?
Boden’s funny boys
The fashion retailer staged a gleeful little gaff advertising the Marylebone Man-Skirt with a frankly inspired description for open-mouthed blokes doing a bit of shopping.
‘The relaxed shape flatters all figures (even the ‘well-upholstered) and looks great with brogues and knee length socks for work’ was a particular highlight of ours.
Over to you
We noted more, but want to know your thoughts. What would you put next on the list?
Is it Battersea Dogs & Cats Home for its wonderful sentiment of apparently ‘training’ pets to fulfil basic household tasks such as washing up and gardening in order to make it easier for them to find homes?
Or is it the University of Tasmania that merrily made the claim that Drop Bears (a bigger, more violent version of a koala that inhabits the imagination of anyone gullible enough to fall for this one) target people with foreign sounding accents?
The choice is yours! Let us know in the comments below which of the two above you’d go for – or any better ones you’ve seen…