April Fools’ Day happens every year and every year marketers take advantage of the day dedicated to pranks and practical jokes. These stunts make for awesome and humorous conversation starters, while everyone is talking about your silly or cringey hoax.
But have you ever wondered why April Fool’s Day exists in the first place? The origin of the day of pranks has a lot of speculation as to when it actually originated.
According to History.com,
Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.
People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called ‘April fools.’ These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as ‘poisson d’avril’ (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.
So basically, April Fool’s Day is for those who forget or are slow to realize that they’ve woken up to a day dedicated to getting pranked. Why wouldn’t marketers and businesses take advantage of such an opportunity?
In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of 12 current pranks by some of our favorite brands, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Dubbed “Pringles Tingles”, Pringles is releasing a salt and vinegar flavored chapstick. As if we aren’t all completely familiar with the feeling of our lips shriveling up after eating those chips.
If you’ve encountered a BMW while out driving, you’ve likely noticed that none of them use their turn signal. Starting in 2022, BMW is totally removing the turn signal on their vehicles to reduce their footprint. Use them while you can. Or don’t.
“Voltswagen” sparked a bit of controversy for themselves by announcing that they’d be rebranding to a more electrified identity… but they did this 3 days before April Fool’s Day.
Do you love your marshmallows gently roasted or totally toasted? Now, you don’t even need to sit over a hot campfire while roasting marshmallows. They come burnt right out of the bag!
V by Velveeta is a new skincare line by your favorite mac n cheese company. Described as “melty”, “creamy”, and “golden”, they’re offering night creams, moisturizers, and serums.
Do you want to look like a whole snack? Well, now you can! With Outback Steakhouse’s “Lipsteak” collection, you can choose from medium-rare to charred hues.
Finding the perfect hiking shoe can be a struggle. But what about finding the perfect trail runner for your pup? Salomon introduces their first-ever dog-oriented trail running shoe, including a pocket for treats.
Introducing the “Doo Desk”, PooPourri is commemorating one year of working from home with a product designed to go wherever you go.
TaskRabbit is great for finding Taskers to help with all facets of life. But what if you want a furry friend to keep you company while your Tasker is hard at work? Introducing TaskRABBITS. Take your pick from the cutest and fluffiest bunnies they have to snuggle.
Needless to say, it’s entertaining to see the new ways brands can prank us every year on April 1st. Some are hilarious, some are smart, and some are downright stupid. But regardless of your reaction, these brands are making you think of them and their offering. It really is a clever marketing strategy.
- What’s your favorite prank we’ve listed here?
- What’s your least favorite?
- Did we miss any good ones?