by Felix Lehane
The first of April, a traditional day for tricks and practical jokes, has attracted stunts from PRs and marketers for several years now, as a great opportunity for brands to show their friendly and funny side. This year it coincided with a much larger event, Easter Sunday, but that doesn’t seem to have dampened the response. Here are some of our favourites.
A drink suitable for the millennial market
Coca Cola has extended its new range to encompass some of the more media-worthy ‘millennial’ snacks, launching Avocado Coke, along with Sourdough and Charcoal flavours – or so it told the Daily Mirror. Poking some fun at the health-food market, the story was picked up by a few different publications before readers cottoned on that “Avril Foal” may not have been who she claimed to be.
Perhaps referencing the host of connected devices that often lack any real application, Retailer ThinkGeek launched their very own “Bluetooth® Pet Rock”, a modern, updated version of the 1970s marketing classic. It connects wirelessly to any mobile or tablet for added pet rock functionality, offering a conversation starter with any bemused friend, colleague or passer-by. A spokesperson encouraged customers to “get your Bluetooth Pet Rock today, and help make us rich tomorrow.”
British VOD service BritBox announced a US dialogue function for its predominantly British television, to help American viewers understand. This purported to offer its US viewers “a world of incredible TV you never understood”.
Spinning in the Skies
Virgin’s boss Richard Branson went to Twitter to announce a particularly attention-grabbing partnership: Virgin Australia and Virgin Active have allegedly teamed up to introduce the world’s first in-flight spin class, so passengers can burn calories while they travel – putting valuable time to good use.
In the spirit of the overlapping celebrations, no Easter April Fool’s would be complete without some chocolate trickery. Slightly more appetising than Heinz’s new chocolate mayonnaise was Burger King’s “Chocolate Whopper”, complete with a “flame-grilled chocolate patty”, chocolate cake bun and candied blood oranges instead of tomatoes.
Days like April Fool’s are a great way for organisations to raise their profile, offering a chance to take part in something bigger. These kinds of stories have the capacity to go viral, bringing any social media presence to life, and adding a touch of personality to a brand.