A round up of the best 2014 April Fools’ stories on the web
The old adage “If you can’t do it well then don’t do it all” seems to ring true when it comes to April Fools’ pranks.
April Fools ’ Day – a day when journalists expect to be inundated with fake products and announcements, brands just can’t get away with going into it halfheartedly by sending out a poor press release and clogging up a journalist’s inbox just for the sake of marking the occasion.
Over the years, the likes of Google through its products like YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps have seriously raised the game for well-executed April Fools’ pranks. The first of April isn’t just a day for mindless fake announcements, but a chance to raise brand awareness. And with a well-designed press release with optimised links and high quality assets, it can help boost brand searches and conversion, whether that’s to reactivate a forgotten Gmail account or trigger an impulse purchase for an innocent smoothie. You really want that marmite smoothie, don’t you?
So what have been the best April Fools’ jokes this year? Here’s a round-up of the best brand hoaxes of 2014:
Google Maps x Pokémon – Riding on the popularity of Twitch plays Pokémon, Google is calling on the Pokémon fans to “catch ‘em all” as it leaves Pikachus, Mews and Bulbasaurs in different locations across the globe. According to Google, the ultimate Pokemon master who collects every single Pokemon will be invited to Googleplex to participate in the final round of hiring.
While on the note of recruitment, Google also allows you to AutoAwesome your CV by adding special effects to your resume.
Emojify the web! As an emoji addict and fan of expressing everything through icons (((o(*ﾟ▽ﾟ*)o))), Google Translate now allows you to read all your favourite web pages using emotive illustrations. I’m game.
Can you feel the force? Inspired by Star Wars, online retailer, The Fowndry is launching Star Wars Force paint available in two colours: The Dark Side – Carbonite and The Light Side – Hoth White. A coat of this special paint on any surface of your home not only boosts wifi connectivity in the home but also improves your ability to commune with the dead.
Source: The Foundry
Microsoft announces SmartClippy technology – Promoted Tweets are now no longer confined to boosting new campaigns. This year, Microsoft promoted its gag using Twitter, billing the googly eyed paper clip as the one paperclip for everything in your life.
Microsoft Announces SmartClippy technology – the one paperclip for everything in your life! http://t.co/XF1OlWi52K
— Microsoft UK (@MicrosoftUK) April 1, 2014
No more butter-side down bread – Likewise, Sainsburys followed suit with some Twitter advertising to promote its April Fools campaign. Although the formula they used to calculate the perfect bread-slicing method could have been a press office story for any other time in the year
No more butter-side-down bread. Our new bread-slicing method means you’ll never lose your breakfast again. pic.twitter.com/NjP2q4CjH1
— Sainsbury’s (@sainsburys) April 1, 2014
On the subject of toast, Warburtons “announced” plans to build a new office in London – TWO in fact – sandwiching the Gherkin. A simple idea that drove some nice interactions on Facebook.
Source: Warburtons Facebook
YouTube announces upcoming viral video trends – Forget flashmob marriage proposals, planking and harlem shakes, YouTube thinks it knows what the biggest viral video trends will be in 2014.
Google Japan launches magic hand device for smartphones– everything always sounds way more advance in Japanese.
And lastly for my South London friends, according to BrixtonBuzz, Brixton will be undergoing a major rebranding exercise. Anyone fancy drinks over at East Clapham market on Friday?