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Top 10 April Fool's Marketing Campaigns

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April 1,2015

By Sarah Ware, Markerly


Each year businesses are faced with the question of whether or not to employ an April Fool’s Day prank. The most successful pranks are those that are somewhat believable, therefore providing evergreen value for years to come on (see #1). Others can create a surge of purchases (see #8). In fact, many in the industry call April Fool’s “Christmas for Marketers”.

Brainstorming ways to make April Fool’s Day work for your small business? Below are some of the cleverest examples for you to marinate over that have taken place throughout the past couple years. The best business April Fool’s Day jokes blend just a bit of believability into the outrageous.


1. Virgin’s Glass Bottom Plane

Years ago, Virgin announced a glass bottom plane. Even though the post is several years old now, it’s continuously shared on days other than April Fool’s by unsuspecting readers.


2. Sam Adams HeliYum

Sam Adams announcement of HeliYum – the worlds first helium carbonated beverage was a “heli”arious prank. If you haven’t seen the video yet, you’re missing out so catch it here.


3. Vegemite Energy Drink

The famous Australian food paste announced a new Vegemite Energy Drink from down under.


4. Scope Bacon Mouthwash

You can find bacon in anything these days, so when Scope announced its bacon mouthwash, some were skeptical while others were ecstatic and hoping it was real. It wasn’t.


5. Conan O’Brien buys Mashable

In 2012, Conan announced he was buying Mashable for “3,500 smackeroo’s”. No one knows why he chose that amount, or why he said smackeroo’s, but his hilarious video still gets referenced to this day.


6. Hulu Goes Back to 1996

On April Fool’s, Hulu put all the most popular shows from 1996 on display to watch, pretending it was that year. Though this example isn’t exactly believable and is an obvious April Fool’s joke, it was a very successful tactic to drive more traffic and awareness to Hulu before they were a household name.


7. BMW Pick Up Truck

Car enthusiasts were buzzing over BMW’s announcement of their first pick up truck. There were many mixed feelings over this, from excitement to disgust.


8. Warby Parker’s Canine Glasses

The subscription eyeglass company announced Warby Barker, glasses for canines. On April Fool’s Day, if someone added these glasses to their cart while shopping for their own glasses, a pop up came up saying April Fool’s!


9. Big Ben Goes Digital

The famous London landmark was part of a joke by BBC when they announced that the Big Ben clock tower would be going digital, and the clock would be given away to the first listener to call in.


10. REI Kitten Gear

Considering kittens are the ultimate Internet meme, we had to include REI’s April Fool’s joke on our list.

Or, you can simply opt out of April Fool’s all together, as Denny’s did last year.


Sarah Ware is the co-founder and chief executive of Markerly, an influencer marketing platform that advertises branded content to over 300 million people a month. Sarah is also a guest contributor to Forbes. Follow Sarah @WareSarah.



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