Are April Fools Pranks Worth Creating?
There was once a time when all eyes were on the morning news on April 1st to see what brands were doing to celebrate April Fools Day.
In 2020 the occasion was widely ignored due to events happening in the real world. I thought it would be interesting to see if any 2021 April Fools have gone viral.
April Fools Before Social Media
Even since before the days of social media and even the internet, the main purpose of April Fools pranks has been for publicity. To raise awareness by getting people talking through memorable pranks. Remember the left-handed mars bar? That was from 25 years ago and still gets talked about now!
Having a look through this year’s effort of April Fools jokes, got me thinking do any actually stand out? Will people talking about them tomorrow, never mind in 25 years.
Innocent + Heinz = SMOUP
Tomato and fruit mixed together in a smoothy, interesting combination, it could be like marmite! This achieved less than 1500 likes, 160 retweets and 130 comments between their three April Fool’s day Tweets. This seems average, or slightly higher than normal for Innocent.
Birds Eye Waffle Toaster
This has such a cool design with a video to add to the effect. The Morphy Richards Waffle Only Toaster has been made to the exact measurements of Birds Eye Waffles to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. But after all the effort put into creating the idea, the design and story, the Tweet was only liked by 35 and Retweeted by 15, with 10 comments. They did however get 4,100 views, about half of their Twitter followers.
Subway’s Helping Hand
This Tweet came with a handy graphic to demonstrate the concept of an extra hand on a wrist band to help you to eat your Footlong. With a cheesy smiling model to illustrate how helpful it is. But only 8 people commented, 8 retweeted and 42 liked the Tweet. This is on par, if not a little less than their other Tweets.
This one is interesting, and actually did go viral in America, because too many people believed it! Now Volkswagen potentially faces a regulatory investigation as their share prices increased by 12.5% after announcing the name change in the days before 1st April. After standing by their announcement, VW confirmed it was in fact a prank for April Fools Day. Picked up by the world’s media and News Outlets, this April Fools definitely boosted the publicity of the brand’s move towards electric vehicles and their ID4.
So, Are April Fools Jokes Worth the Effort?
So, are April Fools jokes worth doing for brands? My answer is maybe, they create content, bringing some fun and light-heartedness to social media pages. But I would recommend not spending too much time, money or effort creating them. Unless they’re amazing or too believable, they’re unlikely to get many people talking or add much value to your brand.
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