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Top 2023 April Fools’ Day brand stunts and gags – from Tinder to Subaru

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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

March 31, 2023 | 10 min read

From a Duolingo dating show to a fish pic ban on Tinder, here are The Drum editors’ favorite gags and pranks from brands.

fish photo with a slash through it

Tinder's April Fools' Day prank claims to reel in fish photos from dating profiles / Credit: Tinder

Mod Pizza announces a ‘Pocket Pie Parka’ sweepstakes

mod pizza parka

Here’s a piece of clothing that will have you looking like a snack, while snacking: pizza chain Mod Pizza’s Pocket Pie Parka. This fashion abomination boasts an insulated pocket designed to hold Mod’s new Pocket Pies, which were rolled out earlier this month on Pi Day (March 14). It also offers two front pockets for beverages and Mod’s No Name Cake dessert, as well as a special sleeve pocket napkin dispenser. Consumers can enter to win the parka on Mod’s Instagram and TikTok accounts from March 31 to April 3.

Hop Wtr promos a thirst-quenching new flavor: ‘Mlf Wtr’

Alcohol- and calorie-free beverage brand Hop Wtr has today unveiled a social media stunt for thirsty moms only: ‘Mlf Wtr’ – which, of course, stands for “Mango Lime-Flavored” sparkling water. According to a release, the new flavor is “mixed with stress-busting and mood-boosting ingredients for steaming hot mom-ents.“

Hop Wtr worked on the stunt with creative agency Multiply. To create more believability, the brand plans to announce ‘Mlf Wtr’ on its site on April 1.

Subaru embraces the ‘crunchy’ lifestyle with new ‘Forager Granola’

subaru car with granola

Subaru is well aware that its drivers have a reputation for being ‘crunchy,’ which is defined by Urban Dictionary as those who have “adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons.“

The automaker plans to take its crunchy consumers for a ride this April Fools’ Day with the unveiling of the all-new ‘Subaru Forager Granola.’ According to a fake press release, the super-crunchy snack is packaged with “100% recycled good vibes,” and its and ingredients include “love and organic compost.”

Askov Finlayson drops swimwear line for melting polar ice caps

shorts in snow

Know what’s not funny? The climate crisis. That’s why climate-positive apparel company Askov Finlayson plans to release ‘North Swimwear’ on April 1, the first day of Earth Month. The phony new swimwear line features the brand’s winter apparel technology, allowing consumers to take a plunge into the north, where glaciers are quickly melting. The campaign was created in partnership with the agency Colle McVoy.

Chuck E. Cheese opens its doors for adult weddings

What better place to spend the happiest day of one‘s adult life than Chuck E. Cheese, where, famously, “a kid can be a kid?” For April Fools’ Day, the arcade chain announced that it is now “where a mouse can make you a spouse.” Its new ‘wedding package’ stunt allegedly offers Chuck E. himself to officiate the ceremony, professional in-house DJ Munch and a reception in the game room. The brand worked with its creative agency partner Material on the project.

OnlyFans launches ‘NSFW hot sauce’ to spice things up

hot sauce bottles

OnlyFans, a creator platform known for its spicy, adult content, has launched a new ‘NSFW Hot Sauce’ – and no, it’s not a joke. On April 1, consumers can buy the habanero-flavored hot sauce, good on almost anything, in a $10 or $5 bottle, via the OnlyFans merchandise store.

The sauce is not the first time OnlyFans has turned up the heat in the kitchen. The platform recently launched the second series of its cooking show, ‘This is fire,’ which is available to stream on its safe-for-work platform OFTV.

Duolingo and Peacock release dating show with a language barrier

Language learning app Duolingo has partnered with streaming service Peacock on a fake dating show called ‘Love Language.’ The catch? None of the singles speak the same language and, therefore, must use Duolingo to communicate with each other. The spot features Francesca Farago, best known for starring in dating shows Too Hot to Handle and Perfect Match. As part of the campaign, Duolingo users can receive one month of free access to Super Duolingo and 50% off three months of Peacock Premium.

Tinder enacts a strict no-fish-pic ban on the app

fish photo with a slash through it

Singles who have used dating apps know this scenario all too well: no matter how many people they swipe through, there’s always someone else with a photo of themselves and a poor fish they’ve caught. For April Fools’ Day, dating app Tinder says it will “oh-fish-ally remove everyone’s least favorite type of photo, once and for all,” according to a fake press release. “We are always listening to our members and it's clear that the ubiquitous fish pic is something that needs to be addressed on our app,” said Sal Mon, head of community pictures at Tinder, in a statement.

Vegan meat brand La Vie expands into meat

La Mort Bacon

La Vie becomes the first plant-based brand to venture into the meat market, rolling out a bacon product La Mort made from real-life pigs. La Vie's chief exec Nicolas Schweitzer said: “Just look at the numbers: 99% of the meat consumed today is of animal origin. For us, launching La Mort is a no-brainer.“ The brand has also released a parody video starring Schweitzer who takes viewers on a tour of a slaughter lab.

Westside comedy theater debuts original scent: ‘L’Humor’

perfume bottle

Mi’s Westside Comedy Theater – a Santa Monica-based standup and improv club that has previously hosted Adam Sandler, Dave Chappelle and Zach Galifiniakis – is simultaneously celebrating its 14th anniversary and April Fools’ Day by launching a fake signature scent: ‘L’Humor – something smells funny in here.’ The fragrance, developed by Milwaukee-based agency Hanson Dodge, is described as having notes of “corndog that’s been on a roller for two weeks straight.”

Sneak Energy releases eye drops for late-night gamers

energy drink

Sneak Energy, an energy drink brand popular among gamers, announced a fake product for April Fools’ Day: the world’s first-ever energy eye drops, made specifically for those up at ungodly hours playing video games.

Although the product is fake, the brand says it’s offering a discount to anyone who falls for the prank and adds it to their cart.

The Drum Chip Shop Awards celebrate pure, unadulterated creativity. Feel like your creative is a winner? Enter the Chip Shop Awards by April 6. For more, sign up for The Drum’s daily US newsletter here.

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