April Fools’ Day Inspiration For Marketers
“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.” What E.B. White was missing from the rest of that quote was “…and April Fools’ Day pranks.” Did you fall for a prank or two on this global holiday celebrating all things jokes and good fun? As brands become more social, more companies are jumping on the April Fools’ bandwagon externally, and creative marketers are pushed beyond their normal brand constraints to develop content that pushes the limits — yet is believable and relevant to their fans’ interests. As marketers, there’s a lot that we can learn from the big successes — and flops (it’s almost better to not run a prank than to have one that completely falls flat). Check out four of our favorites and what you can learn from them:
Virgin America: new logo
The best branded April Fool’s jokes take advantage of a fan base’s deep passion or pain points. In Virgin America’s case, they played into their customers’ inherent love for cutting edge design, hip branding, and technology jargon (ahem, “tech infused technology”). By including the company founder, Richard Branson, the video automatically makes you believe that the new logo that they are about to unveil might possibly be something real, therefore making you watch the video all the way through to the end. Keeping an audience fully engaged through an almost 2 minute promotional video is a monumental task, but Virgin America accomplished it. They also updated their avatars across their social media channels to reflect the new logo, making their logo refresh seem more believable. Bravo, Virgin America – and it’s a good thing they’re sticking with their original logo.
eHarmony Australia and Sydney Zoo: dating for your pet
One of the most common responses to April Fools’ Day posts is, “that’s not real, but I still want it.” There’s almost nothing that pet owners wouldn’t do for their little friends. eHarmony realizes this so they partnered with the Sydney zoo to launch “a revolutionary new dating platform specifically designed for animals.” Little Sparky deserves to find true love as much as you do, and now you can help him find his puppy soul mate. Take advantage of fun holidays to partner with brands outside of your normal realm. Appeal to your current user base’s other passion points outside of why they’re on your site (most people like animals, so partnering with the zoo is a natural fit for eHarmony). Some of the most popular, tried-and-true corporate jokes involve animals, so consider ways that you can work them in to your next April Fools’ campaign. There’s a reason why YouTube cat videos are so widespread. Know your audience and give them what they want.
The subscription based model trend is alive and strong, but what if your company doesn’t have a product offering that would be a natural fit for monthly boxed delivery? McDonald’s jumped on the trend with this timely joke announcing mmmBox, a monthly delivery pairing your favorite menu items with your lifestyle (artisan, hipster, or minimalist). When considering what your next joke should be, think about what kind of products you normally wouldn’t be able to actually deliver upon. Practice trendspotting and see what else you can come up with!
Today is the day that you trust nothing on the internet. What have been your favorite April Fools’ Day posts? Share them below in the comments!