April Fools Day is no joke for media-savvy American corporations. Brands, like Google and Burger King, now launch April Fools pranks on social media every year. While these fake announcements can range from the cute to the absurd, their aim is to make a splash that improves brand awareness.
April Fools Pranks from America’s Biggest Brands
With fact-checking capability just a click away, it isn’t easy to fool people today. Be that as it may, many top brands still try to trick the American public every April 1. Here’s a quick sampling of some of the better April Fools pranks from years past.
1) Burger King’s Whopper Toothpaste
Burger King’s best and perhaps worst April Fools Day prank was Whopper Toothpaste, a new menu item for customers who can’t get enough of its trademark fast food smell. The toothpaste promised to include whitening onion, daily fresh tomato and anti-cavity steak.
2) The Google Gnome Digital Assistant
In the midst of the smart assistant craze, Google jokingly introduced an outdoor product, the Google Gnome. The voice-activated assistant was advertised to work in the backyard and help with tasks like trimming hedges and refilling bird seeders.
3) Redbox Introduces Walk-Up Movie Theaters
Redbox, a popular movie rental service, jumped on the April Fools pranks bandwagon when it made a fake announcement about a new service. On Twitter, Redbox introduced the roll-out of walk-up movie theaters at its red kiosks. #BringYourOwnChair Redbox joked.
It finally happened. Hit movies are now playing directly from our touch screens! Show up early with the whole family 👨👩👧👦 to grab the best spot on the sidewalk! (Chairs & blankets not included.) Find your closest location here: https://t.co/GibKBEvP6O pic.twitter.com/clDMZuBw1Z
— Redbox (@redbox) April 1, 2018
4) Amazon’s Alexa Speaks to Animals
Amazon’s 2017 April Fools Day prank was both cute and absurd. The online retailer created a real announcement for a phony product called Petlexa, which would allow dogs and cats the opportunity to order from Amazon, too.
5) Alamo Launches Self-Vacationing Cars
Alamo Rent A Car gained some positive publicity on April Fools Day when it jokingly launched self-vacationing cars. Alamo’s new self-driving fleet apparently had a unique capability. It could not only get you to your destination safely, but it could also plan your trip, as well.
6) Snickers’ Knickers
In the race to be funny, some brands can go too far. In the case of Snickers, we will let the video announcement do the talking.
7) Jim Beam Now Sells Canned ‘Jim Beans’
April Fools Day is also a time for businesses to make light of themselves. Jim Beam, a popular brand of bourbon whiskey, posted a graphic on Twitter that announced a new line of canned beans, called Jim Beans. Although it’s unlikely too many people fell for the prank, it likely provoked more than a few hearty laughs.
We’ve been making bourbon for 220 years, but some folks still call us Jim Bean. Hint taken. Introducing Jim Beans: aged one day in a tin can pic.twitter.com/y88bHyYjR6
— Jim Beam (@JimBeam) March 31, 2017
These seven big budget pranks show that April Fools Day did not die in middle school. In fact, a tasteful joke on April 1 is quickly becoming an integral part of a smart social media marketing strategy to increase brand recognition.