ITNTW: THE BEST AND WORST APRIL FOOL’S PRANKS
The annual practical jokes of April 1st have blessed us once again. Of course, every year people ponder on the origin of the tradition, yet no answers have ever been solidified. More and more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon of April Fools, with the main jokes leading customers to believe an exciting/strange product is coming to fruition. We’ve decided to round up some of our favourites from Saturday’s antics.
Australian Reptile Park
A lover of April Fools, the Central Coast sanctuary utilises photoshop to their best abilities to create some practical jokes annually. This year, they tricked their social media followers with a nail-biting image of ‘A Day in the Life of a Crocodile Keeper’. Whilst some commenters were aware of the date, many questioned the safety regulations of the park and its employees, until later being informed of the joke.
Arguably one of the most spoken about pranks in Australia this April Fool’s came from a local brewery in Beechworth, VIC. Billson’s is known for their deliciously crafted vodka-based drinks, that range from flavours such as fruit tangle, to gingerbread. However, on April 1st, they announced their newest products, the Billson’s Breakfast Series. Including flavours such as Chilli Chorizo Breakfast Burrito, and Smashed Avo & Banana Toast, the launch had everyone talking! Whilst Billson’s didn’t play the joke along for too long, they did in fact release one of the Breakfast Series flavours: Maple Bacon Vanilla Crepes. They also launched a Tik Tok campaign of influencers taste-testing the newest flavour. So, this April Fool’s day prank proved to be a great marketing tactic for their newest product, with the flavour selling out almost immediately.
Another harmless, fun, creative April Fools prank was seen from Selena Gomez’s makeup brand, Rare Beauty. Their cult liquid blush products are constantly sold out globally, making it a difficult purchase. To combat this issue, the marketing team at Rare Beauty came up with a jumbo product to last a lifetime. Many viewers were amazed by the idea, until they realised the date.
However, April Fools pranks can backfire for some brands.
Whilst putting fries on a burger may not be a revolutionary hack for some, many were surprised to see McDonald’s announce their newest product on April 1st – The McFry. Macca’s lovers were not happy the joke burger would not be a permanent item, and demanded for the fast food corporation to make the McFry a reality. This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has faced backlash for their April Fool’s tactics. In 2019, consumers were outraged over their McPickle Burger that had pickle lovers seeing red upon realisation.
Whilst orchestrating harmless jokes in the spirit of April Fool’s, brands need to be careful they don’t fall victim to ‘clout-lighting’: the act in which an account with influence gaslights their audience. Going too far with April Fool’s pranks can lead to some serious crisis management, which we can offer.
If you’re looking for a fun, harmless example of an April Fool’s day prank in preparation for next year, check ours out.
By Clare Fitzgerald – PR and Influencer Assistant @ InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn