What if you could prank thousands of people?
Sure it’s fun to prank your little sister by cutting her Barbie’s hair (it doesn’t grow back btw… just saying…) or your husband by putting baby powder in the hair dryer (ok, that is funny, though…) – but wouldn’t it be much more exciting to prank thousands if not millions of people? Exactly! And that’s what companies have been doing year in year out. Apart from a good laugh, these pranks are usually well thought-through marketing campaigns that generate considerable additional exposure for the brand. Often it even helps to reach people that would normally not fall under the typical persona of a company. We put together our very own TOP 10 best April’s Fools pranks.
Whereas some campaigns clearly appear to be a gag, others really convinced people that it might be real (we really love our number 1 for that!).
10. Grab FoodCopter (2019)
This is a very Singapore / Malaysia related prank. On March 29, Grab (the regional ride hailing and food delivery company similar to UBER) announced that they would offer helicopter food delivery from Singapore to Malaysia. The two countries have a long ongoing dispute about who has the better food and who invented which dish. This ad one goes in favor of Singaporean food and “targets” all Singaporeans living in Malaysia or Malaysians secretly craving the Singaporean twists of their beloved dishes. Whereas the reach of the campaign was not extraordinary (90k views on FB and much less on YT) it did get the attention of local media such as The Star or Soya Cincau (nevertheless both mentioned a potential April fools prank). Moreover, they managed to garner 1,500 beta testers through their landing page according to Grab’s information (pretty sure some of them thought it’s a real thing…). Check out their promo video below and let us now what you think.
9. WestJets KargoKids (2012)
We all know that feeling. You board a long-haul flight and you know you are going to be stuck in there for the next 10 hours. Based on your calculations you can watch 2 movies, have some dinner and then snuggle yourself into the least torturing sleeping position to get another (rock) solid 6 hours of sleep. You will arrive at your destination more or less rested and can right away start with whatever you’re doing. Until the kid behind you starts kicking the seat, thinks its funny to play with your hair or just cries. And cries. And cries…. Well in 2012, WestJet introduced child-free cabins with their offer KargoKids. Whereas it was clearly only an April’s fool prank, we know that some of you would gladly make use of the offer (we’re not judging). Clearly a prank (the KargoKid even said so herself at the end), the campaign has generated broad media coverage in Canada and the video has generated around 1.5 Mil. views up until today. What do you think?
8. Flying Penguins (2008)
Seriously, when it comes to pranks, BBC is probably one of the OGs in the game. In 2008, they came up with a documentary-like clip in which film maker and writer Terry Jones discovers a colony of penguins, which are unlike any other penguins in the world… The video has generated over 6.5 Million views on YT is still shared around Social Media these days (such as by BBC ONE in 2019).
7. Soda Stream (2019)
We liked the creativity on this one. Also they put quite some effort into the production and if you are imaginative enough, the story could kinda make sense… Kinda… The clip generated almost 3 Million views on YT so far and also managed to create its fair share of media buzz. Would you want to make your own (Burrito flavor-ingested) fizzy soda?
6. Playstation Flow (2015)
We all know that PlayStation was one of the key drivers to make VR go mainstream. So this idea did not seem too far fetched. Still far, yes, but not too far. Well, you know what we mean. Would you try it? The YT video generated around 2.5 million views up until today and obviously received a geat share of media coverage.
5. Honda Pastport (2019)
The Japanese really have a knack for funny April’s Fools pranks – and Honda is no exemption. The car maker comes up with creative campaigns every year. This nostalgic twist on their Passport SUV goes out to all the retro-lovers and 90s dwellers. We think it’s cool how they poke fun at current trends (e.g. they also released a Seflie edition of their HRV model). All jokes aside, we are 100% sure that, if this were real, there would definitely be buyers for this model #hypebeasts. Would you be interested?
4. Selfdriving bike (2016)
The Netherlands is renowned for cycling. Google is renowned for self-driving technology. Well, there you go! It’s really not too far fetched that Google comes up with a self-driving bike in The Netherlands, right? Google has come up with a looot of April’s Fools pranks throughout the years. And a lot of them are really good (that’s why we included two in this ranking). The behind the scenes are also quite interesting and show the creativity the team approaches its campaign with. Four years ago this was a joke but we believe that self-driving vehicles of all sorts will come true sooner than later. After all, Google proved to be quite good at telling the future. Look at their Pokemon campaign 6 years ago!
3. Google Nose (2013)
Google called it the new Scentsation in search and we think it’s genius. We particularly love the interview-like scenes (Google loves those) and the creative pun-loaded play with words. If you don’t know what to do… Well, Google Nose.
2. YouTube deleted (2013)
Technically, this is another Google, yes… Eight years after the creation of YT, the platform published a statement that the site, which was launched in 2005, was just a way to find the best video in the world. And on that day in 2013, it is closing the competition. The site will stop taking submissions on Tuesday, April 2 at midnight and close down. All videos will be deleted.
Yes, we all know that wasn’t true… But hilarious nonetheless! We love this video!
1. Spaghetti Farm in Switzerland (1957)
Remember when we mentioned BBC as the OG of pranking the world? Our No. 1 in the list should be proof enough! In 1957, yes probably long before you were born, BBC was fooling the world like you couldn’t even imagine. The news clip was showing a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from a tree!
At the time spaghetti was relatively unknown in the UK, so many were unaware of how it is made. Now check this… A number of viewers reportedly contacted BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees. If that isn’t the biggest troll anyone ever pulled, we don’t know what is. #hatsoff
Have you already planned your 2021 April’s Fools prank?
What was your favorite April’s Fools prank in this list? Or do you have one that should have made it into this list? Has your company ever pulled off an April’s Fools prank? Are you planning one for next year?
We love creative ways of marketing and April’s Fools is probably one of the coolest occasions to get exposure and attention – if done right. IF DONE RIGHT! You could go wrong as well. Oh so wrong!!