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The Viral Video Blog

The team behind the Viral Video Chart examine the latest trending videos and look at what it takes to become a web smash.

Not so corporate after all: the best brand pranks and hoaxes

In a week where April Fools' Day gags have dominated The Drum's Viral Video Chart, Mel Peck from the Viral Ad Network picks out the best pranks, jokes and hoaxes that have been trending online.

It’s not like brands have ever needed an excuse to play around with prank advertising, but April Fools day is the perfect opportunity for marketers to flex their creative muscles.

Newspapers and TV stations have been toying with April Fools' Day jokes for decades, but the increasing amount of mainstream media attention has led more and more marketers to start using it as a way to boost awareness of their brand and, unsurprisingly, this week’s chart is packed full of April Fools stunts, from tongue-in-cheek ads to hilarious product launches teetering on the verge of credibility – bacon mouthwash anyone?

Here’s a quick run down of some of the top trending April Fools' Day campaigns that made it into the Viral Brands Chart this week…

Shooting straight to the top of the listings with nearly 9 million views is a hoax video from YouTube. The channel announced that following a global competition to find the ultimate viral video, it would close down until 2023 while a team of researchers watched all 8 years' worth of clips to decide on a winner. According to Mashable, YouTube teamed up with the notoriously satirical newspaper The Onion to orchestrate the story, enlisting a host of well-known viral celebrities to act as judges.