The 1st April is one of my favourite days of the year for PR stunts and, even though social media has made it far more difficult to fool people as awareness is much higher, this year served up some excellent examples.
In reverse order, my top three are:
3. The Radio Times went for a clever play on words by claiming “Britain’s favourite hosting duo will become a trio known as ‘Ant and Dec and Anton Du Beke’“. Complete with a claim of exclusivity and a quote from ‘a source’, this may well have fooled some and certainly made me smile because of the brilliance of the rhyme.
2. Technology companies are notoriously good at April Fool’s Day stunts and Samsung provided a good example this year with the launch of its new Galaxy BLADE edge, ‘the world’s first smart knife with smartphone capabilities’. Unfortunately, the company wasn’t sure whether its customers would realise this was a joke (!) so they included a disclaimer on the bottom of a latter image, somewhat dampening the effect.
1. Unsurprisingly, Google led the field. Everyone knows about Google Maps’ Pac-Man, but my favourite was the fake press launch for Google Panda, ‘a product that is so brilliant you can ask it anything, but so cute you are going to want to hug it’. Complete with five-minute YouTube video on Google Japan’s official channel, this is a fantastic example of how to get an April Fool’s Day prank absolutely right.
Regrettably, not all of this year’s April Fool’s Day stunts were quite so inspiring. For example, Pieminister, The Home of British Pie Week, announced the launch of a new pie-scented candle this morning. Unfortunately, they neglected to do their research and since other companies actually do sell meat-scented candles, this one fell a bit flat.
Have you seen any other excellent examples this year? Let me know in the comments below.
UPDATE: A late but great entry by TravelBird: