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Companies indulge in April Fools Day, but is it worth it?

April Fools Day was one week ago, and like every year, boy did some brands have a field day. From McDonald’s, Webjet and Jimmy Brings, to Skittles, SEEK and Red Balloon, we saw a slew of wacky and wonderful ideas – some of which even turned into a limited release product!

Companies can sometimes prepare months in advance for April 1st, to come up with the perfect joke or opportunity for a marketing/PR stunt. Grabbing the attention of your audience is key on social media and, as you will see below, iconic brands are constantly thinking of ways to come up with the wildest ideas for this seasonal occasion. Whether it’s a carefully crafted brand collab, or a spare of the moment idea, April Fools Day is one of the many expected stunts from brands.

The question is, is it worth it? The time and resources put into creating these fake products and collateral surely brings brand awareness and engagement, but does it gain loyal customers? There’s a few expected responses here:

  1. Backlash – whether the idea be so outlandish like 2021’s Coriander Cookie from Subway, or this year’s SEEK office on Mars
  2. Outrage – when a product is so good the audience is upset it isn’t a real creation, like Skittles and M&M’s collab of 2022.
  3. Confusion – Krispy Kreme actually released a new Glazed Donut Iced Coffee on 1 April this year, leading the audience to assume it was a joke. However, the product is on sale at 7 Eleven. The poor timing of the launch may have actually worked against them.

A quick round up below of some iconic brands gags from 2022.

  • McDonalds, a fan favourite, is claiming to release an all-new sundae with everyone’s favourite sauce ‘Sweet n Sour’. An unlikely match…

  • Tim Tam teaming up with Vegemite for the ultimate combo?

  • I surprisingly had a particular giggle for this one… thinking of Oporto’s removing their arguably best product and the only item on the menu people remember?

  • Oh and Dyson’s Air Purifier we all thought was an April Fools’ but it is 100% real!!!

Overall, these posts are great and almost ALWAYS bring in great social media attention and media coverage, but you must think if in the long road does it actually help? It is often the biggest corporations taking part, who have large budgets to spare…but it’s interesting to see the companies that feel it was a success and choose to take part again the following year.

It begs the question…what will 2023 April Fools Day bring?

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