April Fools' jokes as part of a PR campaign?
Everyone loves a good April Fools' joke – even the world’s largest companies. April Fools' jokes have become serious business for companies, turning the tradition of ad-hoc pranks into sleek, planned-out operations.
It all seems to make business sense, since well-thought-out corporate April Fools' jokes attract a lot of attention for the brand-owners. Users of social media in the recent years have also helped companies to communicate and amplify their April Fool's jokes to increasingly larger audiences.
Last year, Google launched Google Nose that allows people to “search by smell. It looked so professional, that it got many people wondering if it could have been real. In 1998, Burger King launched “left-handed” Whopper with a natural “left bias”, for the enhanced enjoyment of left-handed burger-lovers.
Here are some of this year's business April Fools' jokes we like. Great PR stunts, we'd say. These are from American or Canadian companies, because they were easier to find on the internet. If you know of any good corporate April Fools' jokes in your city/ country, do let us know too.
1) “Eagle-caught” salmon from Fresh Direct:
This American online supplier of meat and groceries offered sustainably-harvested salmon, freshly caught by eagles tied with “green and orange ribbons” (the company's corporate colours). The salmon is “biked in daily from the banks of the Salmon River in Pulaski, N.Y. to New York City's Polaski Bridge”. If anyone still didn't get the hint that this was all a joke, Fresh Direct recommended that the salmon should be cooked by “tucking butter into the talon holes”. Cool recipe, isn't it?
2) American “Beagles” Outfitters – a clothing line for your beloved pooches
The American Eagles Outfitters launched a new clothing line for dogs, with the name “American Beagles Outfitters”. It all seem so convincing witha micro-site and a three-minute corporate video of why “American Beagles” is designing clothes for dogs. You know it's a joke when you click on one of the images of a “dog model” and out pops the description of similarly-styled clothes on a man or a woman.
3) Build your house and eat it too, with chocolate flooring from Build Direct
The Canadian home improvement company announced its new line of chocolate flooring that allows buyers to (literally) taste the quality. Its President and CEO Jeff Booth started his corporate video announcement solemnly, stating how his team has researched extensively to bring quality flooring to his customers. Halfway through, another spokesperson of Build Direct cautioned that chocolate flooring tended to “disappear” during installation. And Jeff Booth rounded up with chomping off a large piece of his new line of flooring. Yummy.
The next time you plan for a PR campaign around March/ April, be sure to think through an April Fools' joke. Or leave it to the professional pranksters at PR agencies.
(Note: image of calendar is from Telegraph)