Much like the traditions from other holidays, such as pinching someone for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day or coloring eggs and telling tales of a furry bunny bringing us goodies on Easter, most of us don’t know why we play pranks on April 1. All that we know is that it is a fun light-hearted day that gives us permission to be extra creative and sometimes a bit mischievous when coming up with ways to fool and joke with those around us.
Marketers are typically a creative bunch who spend much of their time finding ways to position products or services to their audience, so why not take advantage of April Fool’s Day to not only have a little bit of fun, but to draw attention by making others see a not-so-serious side to the brands we represent?
Here are seven really fantastic April Fool’s Day marketing campaigns of 2015. Some of them are more believable than others, nonetheless they’re all really fun and creative in their own way.
1. Amazon Dash Button – by Amazon
So far, the Amazon Dash Button is the winner for me when it comes to brilliant marketing for April Fool’s Day this year. All of the others on this list are not real products or services, but Amazon Dash is something that will actually be available for consumers, and as Amazon has officially stated, “a genuine step forward in digital retail”. The fact that it was perceived by many as an April Fool’s hoax is perhaps due in part to the timing of the announcement, but also goes to show that many thought it was “too good to be true”. Kudos to Amazon for not only creating a new service that many perceive as useful, but also an ingenious marketing plan to introduce it.
2. Putting a “U” in Qantas – by Qantas
The Australian airline company Qantas posted on social media yesterday that they were adding a “U” to the name of Qantas to help end years of spelling errors from foreign passengers worldwide.
I am very familiar with the airline, and apparently as millions of others around the world, I always thought there was a “U” in the name. There couldn’t have been better timing for Qantas than April Fool’s to make a lighthearted joke that also educates and spreads awareness on an important fact about the prevalent misspelling of the brand name.
3. Keyless Keyboard – by Google Japan
Google is well-known for creating multiple April Fool’s Day hoaxes every year. This year there was no shortage of jokes and pranks from the tech giant with PacMan in Google Maps, a backward Google Search page (https://com.google/_), and this video from Google Japan about the upcoming launch of a “keyless keyboard”.
Clearly with the many advancements of new and innovative technology and even more wearable technology, this was obviously not a very believable prank, but certainly made me chuckle.
4. The 2016 HR-V SLF Selfie Edition – by Honda
Honda made this very funny video about introducing a new car model that has 10 built-in selfie cams throughout the vehicle. It seems as though selfies are becoming such a part of our daily lives online, especially in social media, that perhaps there are a few people out there who would actually want that feature on their new car.
5. Dog and Cat Selfie Stick – by Unleashed by Petco
I shop at Unleashed for my pets pretty regularly, so receiving emails about rewards points and promotions is common; however, this morning I received the following promotion about dog and cat selfie sticks. As I mentioned above, I don’t know what it is, but it seems everyone is obsessed with selfies, even after many predicted the trend would die after Ellen’s famous selfie at the Oscars a couple years ago. I guess it makes sense that next step would be dog and cat selfies right?
6. Pets Unleashed Plan – by T-Mobile
Pets always seem to be a popular topic, especially on social media, so it is no wonder we see a lot of advertising and marketing campaigns appealing to our weakness for our cute furry friends. T-Mobile is not exception with this April Fool’s video advertising for a Pets Unleashed mobile plan to make sure you don’t exclude anyone in your family from being on a phone plan.
7. Dog Barking Classes – by Groupon
Keeping with the pet theme, here’s a hilarious video made by Groupon UK advertising for dog barking classes. Who wouldn’t want to be able to know exactly what our dogs are saying and to help us explain the importance about why we got so upset when they chewed our new Gucci loafers.
Photo by: Mike Licht