PR Pranks: Creating an April Fools’ Day campaign

Google Tulip

April Fools Day is a great time for brands to express themselves via the oh-so-risky Prank and while some companies have drawn more confusion than chuckles, many brands are embracing the holiday as an important time to engage with its audience.

But since most C-Suites aren’t having meetings about how to pull off a good prank campaign, let’s take a look at how to create a great Branded April Fools Day Prank.

Humor

 
Google “April Fools Day prank” and it’s easy to find stories about failed pranks that drew “confusion, anger.”

However, this year the majority of pranks that won April Fools Day, consisted of the brand taking a few shots at itself.

Take Tom Brady, who joined Twitter on Monday and preceded to announce his retirement. “In my spare time. I’ll be tweeting #LFG”

Tinder also took a shot at itself, announcing its Height Verification feature.

Tinder April Fools' Day Height Verification feature

Innovation

 
Tech brands have a history of creating faux video trailers for new product announcements usually highlighting a new, jaw dropping advancement that most thought impossible.

nvidia ron april fools day

Gamers of the world, meet R.O.N.

The world’s first AI powered virtual gaming assistant.

Welcome to the future of gaming → https://t.co/5bZDqoOinc #MeetRON pic.twitter.com/vFYYPQtuJA

— NVIDIA GeForce (@NVIDIAGeForce) March 31, 2019

This year, Nvidia, the PC gaming hardware company pranked its audience by literally introducing a game-changer, an advanced home device, R.O.N., similar to Alexa or Google Home that interacts with gamers as they play.

And speaking of Google, who has been posting pranks for nearly 20 years, the company’s Google Home brand poked fun at its Google Home AI device this year by introducing Google Tulip.

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While most branded April Fools Day pranks are meant to entertain, the best are also advertisements that somehow point the audience back to the brand or a product.

Google Screen Cleaner April Fools' Day

In Google’s Screen Cleaner prank, the company advertises Google Files. Also, Nvidia is using its R.O.N. announcement page to gather sign-ups for its new products and deals e-newsletter.
And Uber’s bike-share prank ultimately advertises the Uber App interface and its Ride Share feature.

Looking for advice on how to reach your audience? Email our team at RestEasy@DevinePartners.com

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