How brands celebrate April Fool’s Day
Normally on April Fool’s Day brands around the world are looking to plant spoof content or create a hilarious social campaign that goes viral.
This year I don’t think we’ll see what we would usually see, given the current COVID-19 pandemic, and understandably so. Google who have a long tradition of pranking web users has already sent an internal comms out to its staff to explain they are skipping this year’s celebrations. And I’m sure other brands will follow suit.
Therefore, let’s look back at some of our favourite April Fool’s campaigns:
T-Mobile Pets Family Plan
Titled, Pets Unleashed, T-Mobile announced a family plan to ensure their owners could keep in touch with their four-legged companions. It was very clearly an April Fool’s joke but what was nice about this campaign was that they made a $1 donation for every visitor to their dedicated product site to the Humane Society, of up to $10,000. A bit of fun but a nice gesture too!
Metro Edible Paper
One of a few April Fool’s tricks played by the UK’s highest-circulation print newspaper was the introduction of an edible newspaper! Readers will have opened up their newspaper to learn about the company’s new plans to become the ‘only newspaper you can eat after reading’ – it even had a vanilla scent!
With details about the printing process (including listing ingredients such as corn starch, vegetable oil) the brand went to every effort to persuade readers this was legitimate. Very clever!
Heinz and Cadbury
Many were dubious when Cadbury Creme Egg Mayonnaise was announced as a new condiment last year around April Fool’s Day, with food giants Heinz and Cadbury teaming up. The bizarre combination however wasn’t actually an April Fool’s joke and the product was available for a limited time only (around Easter) and anyone intrigued to try the spread was invited to a number of London pop-ups. I’d guess the taste test didn’t wow consumers as we haven’t seen this on the shelves in our local supermarkets since (but then again we haven’t seen much toilet paper either recently!).
So while this wasn’t necessarily an April Fool’s prank, it’s no coincidence the companies chose 1 April to announce this product.