While the Super Bowl offers brands an opportunity to capture the attention of a wide, television-viewing audience, April Fool’s Day is ideal for marketers looking to get online attention and show off their more humorous sides.
Take Redbox, for example. They advertised a promotion where people could pay for a lunch meat snack along with their DVD rental. While amusing, the idea wasn’t without its believers — after all, lunch meat would fit perfectly into those plastic DVD cases. People who did fall for the prank received $0.50 off a DVD, making this joke all in good fun.
Business-to-business marketers can get in on the April Fool’s Day fun, too. HubSpot released a video with a silly made-up technology called Sprocket Vision, which offered to indicate thought leaders… in real time. Watch the video to see what we mean!
And who could forget when Twitter said they were only allowing consonants in their free service? For $5 a month, people could continue to use vowels. The joke resulted in thousands of favorites and retweets, as well as engagement from many well-known celebrities, including Joan Rivers.
Google can always be counted on to celebrate various holidays, and April Fool’s Day is no exception. Last year, they “introduced” Google nose, which would allow for people to search by scent. This faux technology certainly would come in handy when walking down the street and trying to identify the delicious smell emanating from a nearby restaurant! And who knows? Maybe someday this product will actually exist, making it a rather aspirational prank.
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to April Fool’s Day jokes made by big brands. They’re a way to differentiate from traditional messaging strategies and have a little fun. And even though most people are prepared for these types of jokes on the very day reserved for them, they represent another opportunity for brands to generate buzz.