Ten Of the Best Internet April Fools Day Pranks
April Fools’ Day has become a marketer’s dreamscape. It gives brands the opportunity to truly let loose and have fun. It also gives them the chance to attract the attention of users in a unique way, which is why brand titans like Google and Microsoft invest so much in their April 1 campaigns. The best pranks of 2015 were particularly inspirational for advertisers and entrepreneurs alike.
Google Dial-Up Mode
Today’s internet functions at a speed of more than a hundred megabits a second. On April Fools Day of 2015, Google pioneered dial-up mode internet, available at a snail’s pace of 56k. The selling point? Get back to real life more often. The YouTube video featured a man meditating in front of a laptop while a voice-over introduced the slow internet movement with, “Relax to the sounds of a 56k modem.” There’s a reason Google’s April Fools’ Day jokes are more popular than those of any other brand: They put enormous effort into their campaign, and it gives them free marketing in the form of the thousands of publications that write about their pranks every year.
Pizza Flavoured Beer
Everyone knows that nothing goes together quite as well as pizza and beer, so Pizza Hut launched the Pepperoni Pilsner beer. Who wouldn’t want a pizza flavoured beer? The catchphrase was “The Flavour of Now”, and the advert ran on YouTube to gather a viewership of 32 000 people.
Amazon Dash Button
Amazon launched one of the most intelligent April Fools’ Day campaigns to date. The Amazon Dash Button was announced on 31 March 2015, and the product itself seemed too good to be true. Eighteen brands offered buttons that were connected to Amazon’s smartphone app. They helped users to stock up on household items with the push of a conveniently placed button. The timing led viewers to believe the campaign was a hoax, so the press worked overtime to cover the campaign. The dash button was, indeed, real, and Amazon managed to stretch their April Fools’ Day advert’s press coverage by two months.
Learning to Bark
According to Groupon, dog owners need to learn how to bark, or at least that’s what they claimed on April Fools’ Day 2015. The brand offered a bogus course that teaches you not only how to communicate with your fluffy friends, but also to translate your pets’ barks into English. It seems that your fluffy friends are far more intelligent than you might have believed.
Tails and fluff have excellent marketing value. Cat and dog videos constantly find their way onto YouTube’s top 10 lists, so it’s no surprise that so many brands chose to add pet power to their April Fool’s Day campaigns last year. T-Mobile launched a collection of mobile devices for every pet-related eventuality. Whether you have a horse or a pet python, T-Mobile has the perfect (prank) phone to keep you in touch with your animals.
The Selfie Bandwagon
Several brands launched prank products related to selfie sticks last year, but one led the pack. Miz Mooz advertised shoes that could be used to take selfies. Simply slide your phone into the convenient area on the toe of the shoe, kick as high as you can, and snap. The commercial received over 2 million views. The campaign was incredibly successful, earning a spot on CNN and Good Morning America.
2015’s April Fool’s Day campaigns were more intelligent than any that have gone before. Instead of relying on humour alone, they exploited topics that are newsworthy and usually offer virality. They thus received far more press coverage than previous years’ campaigns were able to achieve, proving that April 1 might need to be retitled “April Marketer’s Day”.