One of my favorite days of the year, April Fool’s Day, just passed. Not only do I love it because 2 of my aunts were born that day (can you imagine trying to convince people that your baby was ACTUALLY born on April Fool’s Day?), but because I’ve always considered myself a prankster. When I was about 8 and my brothers were 10 and 12, we’d stage a bicycle accident and tell my mom one of us broke our arms. When she pretended like she believed us and walked outside to check, we’d all burst out laughing and scream, “APRIL FOOLS,” only to tell her someone else broke a different bone about 20 minutes later.
Now that I’m old and (pretending to be) mature, I have grown to appreciate the advertising side of April Fool’s Day. Even though most people are expecting pranks from their friends on this day, I always think it’s great when brands post pranks because it catches a lot of people off guard. Not only is it funny, it’s a good way to get people talking about and engaging with your brand. Here is a list of my favorites from this year.
Cub’s Clowning: Even though I hate to admit it (#GoCardinals), the Cubs got their fans pretty good on this Saturday, faking a game 2 days before their real opening day. Not only did they tweet before the game, but they tweeted fake stats and updates throughout the day as if there really was a game going on. If followers didn’t pick up on the ridiculous stats they were making up, like every player having an RBI and the pitcher throwing perfect innings, then they may have believed them until the final tweet with #AprilFoolsGame
McDonald’s Mischief: McDonalds introduced their “Micro Mac” burger, which has “a drop of special sauce, a shred of lettuce… and a countable amount of sesame seeds.” Though this bite size burger may be appealing to those watching their weight, most McDonald’s goers are looking for something a bit more filling.
Virgin Airlines Vagary: Virgin Airlines will soon be taken over by Alaskan Airlines, but they aren’t done just yet… at least, they aren’t done joking yet. They released a video claiming that their new plane is going to flap its wings like a bird in order to fly. The video ends with a man saying “The Wright brothers would be proud.”
Pop-Tart’s Play out: Pop-Tart advertised that they were selling a limited edition of “Just The Crust” boxes. As a child, I ate Pop-Tarts regularly and threw the crust away religiously, so the fact that just the crusts could be sold is a nightmare for me. If they come out with a “no crust” option, let me know.
Snicker’s Knickers: Here’s one prank I wish was real. Snickers pretended to release undies for their fans, only to later announce it was just a joke. BUT if they ever release these, count me in for a couple of pair.
Humor from Hurricane Grill and Wings: This Florida-based restaurant conned their followers into believing they were introducing a new, disgusting sounding chicken wing. For the sake of their business, thank God this was a joke.
Google Gnome: Google Gnome, an obvious play off Google Chrome, is the newest talking home device, but this one is designed for outdoors. Answering questions about which plants were safe to eat and what the weather was like, the commercial about this sassy talking gnome had me chuckling.
Bush’s Jelly Joke: Bush’s Beans decided to introduce their newest canned beans just in time for Easter; jelly beans! Though I love jelly beans, getting them out of an aluminum can sounds less than appealing.
Cheeto’s Spray Tan Shenanigans: Cheetos finally came out and said what we’ve all been thinking: spray tans can be ridiculously orange! Introducing their new spray tan lotion, the brand made fun of orange spray tans, making the actor in the video look like a real life Cheeto (and no, the actor wasn’t Donald Trump.)
Kotex Joked Us: Kotex advertised for new pad-like band aids designed to prevent any sort of leakage your scrapes and cuts might have. Though it was just a joke, I can see a future in this…
Burger King Busted: Burger King got the French audience good on April Fool’s Day when they advertised Whopper Toothpaste. This toothpaste was targeted for anyone who wanted to keep the burger’s delicious taste in their mouth for weeks.
Papa John’s Playful Pun: Papa John’s pretended to sell their famous garlic sauce by the gallon for a low price of $9.99. Though it’s full of trans fat, this sauce is my favorite part of Papa Johns Pizza. The worst part about this prank was that…well, that it was a prank and that I can’t really get a gallon of this stuff.