On the surface, April Fools’ Day can be a pretty underrated holiday in the business world, and it’s easy to see why. There’s a lot of risk involved in spreading hoaxes or playing pranks, especially if you’re trying to establish or maintain trust with your customers. Nonetheless, consumers, especially Millennials and Gen Z, love to see their favorite brands doing something fun or engaging in a way that goes beyond selling–or at least, what feels like selling. A few notable brands have taken this concept to heart and utilized April Fools’ Day to show off their humor and creativity.
It’s no secret that Millennials, and many other consumers these days, are pretty hard to please, but reaching them and getting them to engage with your brand is crucial. April Fools’ Day is actually a great opportunity for brands to engage with Millennials, Gen Zers, and other consumers in a way that doesn’t feel like you’re pushing a product or service on them. From obvious gags to clever deceptions, here are five brands that have nailed April Fools’ Day in the past few years.
Telecom companies, like T-Mobile, are already known for being loud, proud and engaging with their advertising strategies, so this April Fools’ prank on customers seemed fully on-message with what the brand had done already.
Alexa has become an integral part of many homes, so Amazon decided to take Alexa to a new level on April Fools’ Day in 2017 with “Petlexa,” an echo device for your furry family members.
Google is well-known for pranks and Easter eggs within its applications, especially for April Fools’. In 2017, Google gave users a chance to play Ms. PacMan on Google Maps anywhere in the world. Would we call this a prank? Maybe not. But it certainly showed off Google’s “fun side” and prompted users to engage with their applications.
Users of online streaming services have a very low attention span. As an April Fools’ gag in 2017, Hulu created Hu, which offered shortened versions of some of their most popular shows for streaming. How shortened, you might ask? 8 whole seconds. And they’re actually pretty entertaining.
Playing on the digital “selfie age,” Honda released a car that has ten different selfie cameras embedded into it, catering to the recent obsession with selfies. While a great prank in 2016, we actually might not be too far away from this one becoming a real product offering. Scary, right?
Bonus Brand: Lyft
As if it wasn’t easy enough already to get a ride from point A to point B in the knick of time, Lyft invented a clever April Fools’ product, a Power Glove, that allows people to request a ride by simply lifting their hand in the air.