April Fools' Day 2016: Brand pranks logged, the truth exposed

On 1 April no one can be trusted and, as per usual, you might have noticed some strange announcements and product launches popping up on your newsfeed.

Of course brands and agencies alike are trying to make April Fools of us all and to celebrate here's a roll-call of some of today's best jokes that raised a smile at Drum HQ.

First off, The Drum reporter, John McCarthy, has picked his top four April Fools' Day brand pranks. Check it out below or skip to the round-up further down the page.

We'll be updating the piece throughout the day as we expose more brand untruths. Here are many of the best entries we noticed.

Rowse

Rowse
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Honey lovers across the UK can add an extra kick to their breakfast this spring, as Rowse Honey’s highly skilled bee farmers launch the UK’s very first wasp honey.

Netto

Netto
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Netto, the Scandinavian discounter, is launching its newly developed Premieur Pickled Herring Face Mask, which promises to preserve the youth of your skin and keep it radiant looking for months.

The face mask has been developed based on ancient Viking traditions, but also takes inspiration from the latest ancient Korean skincare craze of using fermented food elements, such as Kimchi, on the skin.

First Direct

First Direct
First Direct
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First Direct has launched a piece of wearable technology, which allows customers to avoid those impulse purchases and save their money, instead of splashing out on things they don’t need.

‘Save Zap’ allows customers to set up GPS locations, through an app on their phone, of where they shouldn’t be spending their money - whenever they get close to the location they get ‘zapped’ through the wearable technology on their wrist.

Virgin Active

Virgin Active
Virgin Active
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Virgin Active has unveiled ‘Personal Trainers’ - futuristic trainers that come with a in-built personal trainer that motivates you. The trainers have loads of other weird and wonderful features including locking laces which can’t be removed until 200 calories are burned and a projector that displays over 100 workouts and goal trackers.

Rust-Oleum

Rust-Oleum
Rust-Oleum
Rust-Oleum
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Rust-Oleum has manufactured the first ever range of Wi-Fi paint to boost unreliable, ineffective routers in the home, DIY-FI.

Using state-of-the-art technology, the paint transmits signals which intercept radio waves which, like mobile phones, is how Wi-Fi relays information across a network. The result is the signal being carried further across any painted surface so simply by being in the room, Wi-Fi access to laptops and other devices is automatically optimised.

Churchill

Churchill
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Churchill Insurance has released Éau Yes, the world’s first perfume with smell insurance.

Éau Yes is a fragrance that will insure you smell good, because each bottle comes with smell insurance. What’s smell insurance? Well, when you spray Éau Yes you know you’re covered; to smell good and get compliments all day. And if you don’t receive a satisfactory number of compliments on your smell, Churchill will pay you those compliments back.

Sunlife

Sunlife
Sunlife
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Why is it when your car’s being repaired you can have a courtesy car, but when your poorly pet has to stay at the vet, you have to go home to an empty sofa? Sunlife has come up with the perfect solution with its courtesy pet cover.

Cheapflights

Cheapflights
Cheapflights
Cheapflights
Cheapflights
Cheapflights
Cheapflights
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Finally, an airline dedicated to hipsters and hipsters alone. The brainchild of eccentric kimchi entrepreneur Friday Lopalso, Hipster Air is for those who know, and want others to know it. Flying to destinations that don’t yet realise how cool they are, it promises to peel away the homogeny of mainstream air travel to create something that is always just slightly out of reach for normal people.

Oh, and gone are the days of ‘chicken or beef’. Passengers will be able to choose from a chalkboard menu of seasonal vegan, paleo and raw-food friendly dishes.

Pimms

Pimms
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Pimm’s, the quintessential drink of the British Summer, has unveiled the result of an unprecedented sponsorship deal to display its logo on the world’s most famous clock tower.

The drinks brand’s hallmark will be projected across the dial of Elizabeth Tower, better known as Big Ben, throughout the summer months until Wednesday 31 August.

Tennents

Tennents
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Everyone knows that feeling - your friends are on their way round to visit and you’ve just realised you’ve got nothing in. Fear not, brewer Tennent’s latest venture, which is guaranteed to take off, will deliver the perfect solution.

From today it will be offering Tennent’s Rapid an exclusive airborne service delivering a four-pack of Tennent’s Lager cans direct from Wellpark Brewery within 30 minutes, by drone.

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut
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With the boom in the UK baking industry, Pizza Hut UK has decided to get a slice of the action and will be launching a range of three innovative, pizza-inspired loaves across the nation tomorrow.

With loaves available in Stuffed Crust Meat Feast, Classic Crust Pepperoni Feast and Gluten Free Vegetable Supreme, you can now enjoy the brand’s ‘dough-how’ morning, noon and night as a basis for terrific toast, amazing sandwiches or simply on its own.

Brandwatch

Litter
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Social media monitoring platform Brandwatch launched a brand new social networking site for cats, dubbed ‘Litter’.

The team at Brandwatch saw a trend forming when the number cats tweeting from their owners’ accounts increased year on year. With data proving there was a gap in the market, Brandwatch created a social network for the feline community – aptly named Litter.

Wild West Beef Jerky

Wild West Beef Jerky
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Meatsnacks Group, Europe’s largest producer of beef jerky and biltong today announces its flagship brand Wild West Jerky is going meat-free.

The rebrand will incorporate a new brand slogan: ‘Same tasty treat, without the meat!’

Deliveroo

Deliveroo
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Deliveroo has teamed up with leading neuroscientists to develop a new technology which will allow customers to use their app, using brainwaves alone. This direct brain-to-brain ordering system will significantly reduce a number of pressing First World Problems.

This telepathic technology will allow Deliveroo customers to order food from their favourite restaurants whilst continuing uninterrupted with other pastimes such as going for a run, holding a cat, or clapping. Furthermore, the patented TeleOrder Technology® will have the ability to detect what sort of food a user is craving - even if they don’t even know themselves.

Thomas Cook Airlines and Condor

Thomas Cook Airlines and Condor
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Have you ever been sat on a plane and cursed not picking something up at duty free? Never fear, Thomas Cook Airlines and Condor have tied to launch ‘Airshoppen’, a service that lets fliers buy online and have their duty-free goods delivered to them – the catch? The goods have to be collected while the recipient is airborne to get around those tricky tax loopholes. Therefore, all they need to do is jump at the moment their prized goods are handed over.

“We’re very confident Airshoppen duty-free will take off for Thomas Cook Airlines and Condor, once customers understand this home delivery workaround,” said a buoyant Nick White, group ecommerce director of Thomas Cook Airlines & Condor. And we’d be inclined to believe him if it wasn’t a day dedicated to pranks.

Mini

Mini
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In what seems to be a fast emerging theme for this year’s April Fool’s pranksters, hipsters are again in the firing line for Mini’s effort.

The ‘Hipster Hatch’, complete with Lumberjack exterior stylings and Instagram filtered windows, drives onto the scene for one day online with a Iris-created campaign that includes a site for people to visit.

O2

O2
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If you’re one of the many people O2 claims checks their phone upside down, the telecoms firm might have something to make that peculiar habit easier to do. From today, otherwise known as April Fools Day, every O2 customer update that people receive by text will be delivered in an upside-down format. The first update, believed to be the world’s first branded upside-down SMS, will read: “Research shows more and more of you are checking your phones upside down. So from now on, every one of our messages can be read your way up. Very handy, we hope you agree. “

A campaign, developed by Lida, will support the push.

Albert Bartlett

Albert Bartlett
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Heart Radio Scotland and Albert Bartlett joined forces to promote Albert Bartlett's new range of flavoured potatoes called ‘Tasty Tatties’.

These would come in a variety including cheese, chocolate and chilli and were announced on the air.

SodaStream

SodaStream
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SodaStream has announced the launch of its latest machine, SodaStream Le Dogue - the first sparkling water machine created especially for pampered pooches.

The luxury new machine features a rhinestone encrusted bowl, paw print design and state of the art sensors that produce sparkling water at the touch of a paw, ensuring your beloved pet stays hydrated in style.

The Telegraph

The Telegraph prank
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Finally England could have a helping hand in tempering their grandiose footballing ambitions if a motion from Uefa officials is passed.

No longer will England, or any of the UK’s more humble nations, be allowed to compete in Uefa’s Euro tournament if they vote to leave the UK in the upcoming In/Out EU referendum.

Royal Carribean

Royal Carribean cruise
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Royal Caribbean International announced it is boldly going where no cruise company has gone before by offering the world’s first cruise experience to space; with the first voyage of its state-of-the-art spaceship, Orbiter of the Galaxies today confirmed for 2030.

Construction of the extraordinary space and cruise ship hybrid is underway and Royal Caribbean has unveiled the first images of this cosmic experience to the public. Taking the most loved features of the current Royal Caribbean fleet and giving them a space age twist, Orbiter of the Galaxies is set to deliver a (literally) out of this world holiday experience.

Ultimo

Ultimo spy brand
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Ultimo released its latest lingerie innovation, the ‘Cleavage Spy Bra’ which catches out men who stare at a woman’s cleavage for too long!

The Ultimo design team collaborated with a group of wearable tech experts to produce an innovative, smart bra, which contains a mini camera to capture the image of any man (or woman!) who pays extra attention to the wearer’s cleavage. The picture of the culprit is then sent via blue tooth to a compatible app on the wearer’s smartphone, which lets them see who’s been checking them out.

WWF

WWF Unicorn
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In recent years, demand for unicorns’ spiral horns and loss of their rainbow-spangled habitat have led to a catastrophic fall in numbers of the mythical creature, to the point where these incredible animals now exist only in our imaginations.

That’s why today, WWF-UK has launched a new campaign with a twist to protect our imaginations while helping to save the real-life unicorn.

The campaign is actually focused on saving another horned beast, the black rhino.

Carlsberg

Carlsberg - Carlsburger
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Beer brand Carlsberg has announced an unusual move into the gourmet burger category, launching a new product dubbed ‘The Carlsburger’ into pubs and restaurants across the country.

After months of careful experimentation, the brand has teamed up with the renowned Copenhagen-based chef, Lars Poolif, to produce the gourmet offering, which contains beef from cattle bred in the Nørager region of Denmark.

HomeAway

HomeAway Westminster
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Holiday rental company HomeAway rented out the palace of Westminster... for the low cost of 140k a year.

Walkers

Walkers Blue
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Walkers crisps, has been working with cheese makers in Leicester to develop a way to turn Red Leicester cheese blue and will be releasing a new Blue Leicester Cheese and Onion crisp flavour to cheer the team on.

McCoys

McCoy's Shots
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McCoy’s has released Flavour shots, small packs of Flavour goodness to ensure everything can taste as flavoursome as McCoy’s crisps. McCoy’s Flavour shots will ensure you’ll never be left with bland meaningless food. Simply tear the sachet and pour to get the great taste of McCoy’s.

Ugly Voices

Ugly Voices1
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An Ugly Voices agency has been launched to 'make a difference' and bring 'real' regional voices to the advertising industry.

Google ran an April Fools' Day prank which implemented a drop the mic feature that mutes conversations with a Minion meme, as it emerges, it muted many important conversations.

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Staff Writer

The Drum is a global media platform and the biggest marketing website in Europe. We produce The Drum magazine, 30 awards and events and manage The Drum Network which aims to make independently minded agencies more successful. We also help brands find the right agencies to work with through the Recommended Agency Register (RAR).

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