April Fool's Day is back, again. But is it possible the playing field may have shifted in the last 12 months?
Firstly, and bad news for marketers, April Fools Day landed on a Sunday meaning there were few eyes available to monitor those trending hashtags. Additionally, few members of the press will be working. Instead they will be gallivanting around their homesteads in their Sunday-best eating scones and engaging in other non-press-related activities in celebration of the bank holiday weekend.
Secondly, in an era where brands and consumers are taking a critical look at misinformation on the web, should brands actively deceive their consumers all in the name of attention? Especially when they invest so heavily in building trust with consumers.
And finally, now we are many years into the existence of the social media-driven April Fool's Day stunt, will these actions follow the laws of diminishing returns – or will the public's hunger for trickery and mayhem 1 April last forever?
Below is a collection of brand deceptions sent to The Drum ahead of the day. A true good, bad and ugly of the forced fun celebration, the mandatory marketing event known as April Fool's Day.
Should brands play jester, or is it an empty gesture? Let us know.
SodaSteam and Bed Bath and Beyond
SodaStream parodied bad infomercials with the launch of the SodaSoak a water-sparkling adaptor for the bathtub.
Daniel Birnbaum, chief executive officer of SodaStream, said: “We had tremendous fun combining forces with our valued retail partner Bed Bath & Beyond, which added realism to the prank.”
Durex revealed a new range of teas. Three brews have been created to improve drinkers' sex lives.
Lus-tea will 'ignite your spark', Naugh-tea will 'unleash your inner animal with' and Flir-tea 'Lower your inhibitions'.
Ever wanted to soak in German liquor? With JagerBalm you can.
This product, created by Essentially Naturals in Nashville includes the following ingredients: Jägermeister, Beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter vitamin E, pan away, cinnamon, orange, clove, copaiba essential oils, cardamom and star anise.
It is unclear if the product can be consumed.
Honda released the Sixth Sense app to underline its commitment to safety, in particular its 'Sensing suite' of automotive safety and driver-assistive technologies.
“We wanted to educate consumers about our Honda Sensing technology in a fun and interesting way,” said Jessica Fini, social media manager, of the American Honda Motor Co.
Duolingo brewed up a range of beers that help drinkers become bilingual. Brewolingo featured a special blend of wheat, hops, water and secret Owlgorithms™.
“We’ve come to realize that lessons can only take you so far along the language-learning journey,” said Duolingo chief executive and co-founder, Luis von Ahn. “True fluency comes from a mix of consistent studying, cultural immersion, and getting tipsy.”
Burger King has released a chocolate whopper, a product fans may not be happy to learn does not exist.
A Burger King spokesperson said: "Burger King is firmly committed to delivering innovative, great-tasting food. We know how much our guests love the taste of chocolate and our iconic Whopper sandwich. That’s why we’re introducing the Chocolate Whopper – a combination of both, which we believe will create the ultimate chocolate burger.”
Bud Light is pushing its Dilly Dilly tagline with a supposed takeover of Piccadilly.
Aina Fuller, marketing manager for Bud Light UK, said: “Right now, summer feels a long way away, but we’re very excited for the approval of our formal application to extend our takeover of Piccadilly Dilly Circus. We think Londoners deserve an epic Dilly Dilly moment this summer, and we’re looking forward to bringing a Bud Light touch to one of London’s most iconic hotspots."
Hyundai has lifted the lid on its mysterious race track and has revealed that it used chocolate as a racing surface - dubbed the Cacao Corner.
Elliot Wix, head of imprint analysis, said: "At Hyundai, we revel in taking on challenges – and we firmly believe that Cacao Corner is cause for celebration. Its development provided an immediate boost for the High Performance Vehicles and Motorsport Division, who work tirelessly to make sure that the N-series Hyundais not just powerful, but also incredibly precise.
"It’s been a long journey, but it’s always worth going the extra mile. Just look at the i30 N – the proof is in the pudding.”
Recently uncovered ancient cave paintings dating back to 4,000BC bore a striking resemblance to Churchill the Dog.
Lucy Brooksbank, head of marketing at Churchill Insurance, said: “When Great Coverworth University got in touch with us we were shocked at the discovery. It’s fantastic and the likeness to our very own Churchie is extraordinary.”
Heinz 'launched' chocolate mayonnaise, made with free-range eggs and the 'finest Belgian dark chocolate'.
A Heinz spokesperson said: "It’s hard to improve on perfection, but we think we might have done it."
Gizmodo explored Elon Musk's little known start-up Neuralink which was created to develop a brain-computer interface.
The publication pushed the news that Musk was testing the Neuralinks on animals.
Wilko released a 'Paw-sonal Training' kit for dogs, intended to keep canines fit and fighting.
Dog-lovers could theoretically deck out a dog gym if they were so inclined with these products.
Asda has created mood scan technology that can detect which food will cure their 'hangriness'.
An Asda spokesperson, said: “We see hangry customers every day and wanted to put an end to it.
"At Asda we have thousands of products, this technology will scan a customer’s face and then recommend the perfect remedy to their exact mood. Put simply, it summarises the square roots of any two-side emotional states that are equal to the remaining side of up and downess.”
Isobel has been tasked with striking up a charm offensive to ingratiate president Trump with the British public. A fake ad campaign ran with the title Operation Charm Offensive.
A White House spokesperson 'said': “London is famous for its creative industries, and we were hugely impressed by the range of agencies we met. However, isobel’s ability to re-frame complex issues into simple messages meant they stood out from everyone else. We believe that the campaign will be embraced by the British public and approval ratings will soar”.
Fitzrovia’s Sanderson hotel is hosting the world’s most expensive painting, Salvator Mundi.
Recently sold for a record £304m, the long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ has popped up today in Sanderson’s lobby.
Legal specialists First4Lawyers today announced a pioneering move to offer legal claims against zombie attacks.
First4Lawyers experts are finding that the majority of Zombies settle out of court, due to their unreliability as witnesses and poor time management skills. As a result, the odds are in your favour for a quick settlement, and First4Lawyers aim to help you as much as possible in your time of need.
Qamar Anwar, managing director of First4Lawyers, said: "We have set up this new service in response to public demand. To celebrate our tenth year of business we wanted to launch a service that would really benefit our clients. We’ve all seen in the news recently how Zombie incidents are on the increase, and we feel the time is right for victims to hit the Zombies where it hurts."
Pretzel chain Auntie Anne's has bottled the scent and taste of its goods in oils.
Freshly Baked, Salty, and Cinnamon Twist 'will' be made available to consumers from 30 March...
A spokesperson said: "“We always want to give our fans what they want, and given how trendy essential oils are right now, we thought there was no better way to satisfy the pretzel-loving public than with products modeled after our signature offerings.”
Lexus and 23andMe
Through a partnership with personal genetics company 23andMe, Lexus will soon offer the ultimate answer to vehicle customization – Genetic Select. Billed as "a revolutionary new car buying experience that takes the only thing that matters into consideration when selecting a vehicle — the driver", it offers "patented DNA sequencing model-to-model technology" that pairs drivers to a Lexus vehicle that’s tailored to their every characteristic.
Lexus’ service staff will collect a saliva sample and send it off to 23andMe for sequence testing. Within 48 hours, the perfect vehicle will arrive at the customer’s doorstep. The driver won’t even need a key to operate it — the revolutionary new saliva-powered start-system operates via a DNA ignition sensor on the steering wheel. Just lick and drive.
Hill Holliday came up with an idea that takes the outdoors into the gym with the Terrain Tread Treadmill. It gives treadmill runners an opportunity to walk on grass, bubble wrap, brick and astroturf.
"It’s in the Planet Fitness’ DNA to not take ourselves too seriously," said a release. "We’re a gym for every person, every age, every level, so why not include every terrain, too?"
Hpnotiq, the liqueur brand known for its signature electric blue hue and original flavor, is capitalizing on the cryptocurrency gold rush.
This April Fool’s Day, the Hpnotiq Financial Institution will announce its entry into crypto currency with an exclusive headline on the leading business publication, Business.Biz. Following the announcement, Hpnotiq will release the currency on the @Hpnotiq social handles, along with a promo video.
Oakland-based independent agency EVB launched a new product for Jameson Irish Whiskey: Jameson Space-Aged. The campaign challenges Jameson fans around the globe to wonder: Did Jameson really launch a bottle of whiskey into space to create the most exceptional whiskey on earth? Or is this some sort of brilliant Irish hoax?
The campaign mimics a typical Jameson product launch, kicking off with teaser social posts featuring a silhouette of the new Jameson bottle and the simple headline, “Launching Soon.”
KitKat fans are going to be all in a lather this month when the brand introduces revolutionary new KitKat soap that you can eat.
This incredible innovation from Nestlé comes in three different sizes: KitKat Bites, Soap Edition – a tasty and convenient bar of KitKat Bites Soap that is designed for on-the-go use and perfect for sharing with family and friends; KitKat Four Finger, Soap Edition – primed for your every day ritual wash; and KitKat Chunky, Soap Edition – original KitKat Chunky DNA infused inside the soapy fibres.
T-Mobile announced it’s bringing back its most beloved and iconic device — the Sidekick. Rebooted for the new millennium with a nod to the cult classic that changed everything, the 'Un-carrier’s' latest innovation brings all the fun and function that you loved from the original Sidekick, combined with state-of-the-art design, to create an entirely new category of smart device, the world’s first Smartshoephone: T-Mobile Sidekicks.
As fun as they are functional, T-Mobile Sidekicks are fully tricked out for speed on the fastest LTE network ever and optimized for unlimited data with T-Mobile ONE, of course. And just like the original, T-Mobile Sidekicks are designed for sharing and connection.
Tossing its hat in the ring this year for April Fool's Day is audio brand IFrogz, with the latest and greatest “ear recognition” technology, a play on facial recognition technology.
The Baja Bungalow is a one-of-a-kind vacation rental and the only place to get your own supply of Mtn Dew Baja Blast in bottles and cans. It’s packed with everything you can dream of for the ultimate summer rental including an indoor hydro typhoon surf simulator, saltwater tank with sharks, tropical blast shower heads and more.
Adobe recently profiled an up-and-coming digital artist named Christopher August Timmons, a seven-year-old that is creating 'pawesome' work in Photoshop CC, explained in a video and blog post.
Adobe is also giving everyone a sneak peek into an exciting April experimental release for Adobe Illustrator CC that makes it easier than ever to turn ideas into reality – from pixel to product in minutes.