April Fools’ Day is a great opportunity for brands to show off their personalities and highlight how relevant, funny, or clever they can be — usually through a simple lone Tweet! It takes real creativity to come up with the ideas behind these pranks, especially year after year in such a fast-moving, reactive social media landscape, with the challenge of getting them past the various stages of approval (dare we imagine!).
So today, in the hopes of bringing a smile to your face in celebration of this day of laughter and cheekiness, here are just some of Team Cracked’s favourite April Fools’ brand responses over the years — head over to LinkedIn or Instagram to tell us yours!
The prank that stands out to me was the Starbucks® ‘Pupbucks’ campaign. I didn’t believe it was genuine for a minute, but I thought it was a cute idea of having cafés for dogs that tugged at people’s heart strings, and I guess that’s why I liked it. It was clearly an April Fool, but was just done in quite a heart-warming way that showed the personable side of Starbucks® really well!
— Leigh, Creative Design
LEGO® ‘FIND MY BRICK’
A brand prank is always a goodie when it’s genuinely believed and shared, and that’s exactly what I did with this one from LEGO. The sheer excitement that this app for finding lost bricks would exist was enough. I think a good April Fool has to play on people’s emotions and I am clearly very emotional about this topic being a mother of two! I hate looking through LEGO for items to build something, so it also brought great disappointment when I found out I’d been pranked!
— Zoe, Client Services
MCDONALDS ‘MILKSHAKE SAUCE POTS’
I found this campaign funny but also it had some nostalgia for me. As a kid, my best friend would dip her chips in a milkshake (which I personally thought was gross) but when she made me try it, it was surprisingly good! From the reactions of people who were upset that this wasn’t a real product, it was very clear that she wasn’t alone in dipping her chips! I wouldn’t be surprised if using one of the brand’s most infamously weird food combinations helped them shift a few more milkshakes and fries!
— Kim, Creative Design
INNOCENT DRINKS ‘JUST BITS’
Every April Fools’ Day, the Innocent pranks just make me belly laugh every time! If I am ever feeling a little low and need me a pick-me-up, I know Innocent will get me laughing in no time! They don’t take themselves too seriously; I remember the fake launch of their ‘Just Bits’ juice on one April Fools’ Day, which played on the classic ‘smooth or bits’ debate. It got some great engagement with some brilliant comments like “This is unappeeeeeling!” It was a hilarious and on-point prank to highlight their products and create some lovely connection too.
— Nat, Client Services
TINDER ‘HEIGHT VERIFICATION’
As a tall woman myself, I know first-hand how irritating it is when your date lies about their height —the prospect of spending a lifetime looking down at them in a pair of heels doesn’t really appeal! My dating days are behind me (thank God) but I kind of wanted this brilliantly tongue-in-cheek prank from Tinder to be true! I loved the way they took the problem of people on their platform bending the truth about their height — a problem that spawned a million memes — and made it into a fantastic message that was about encouraging people to embrace who they really are at heart.
—Lucy, Copy & Content
WEETABIX & HEINZ BAKED BEANS
This is the wild card of the lot as it wasn’t actually an April Fools’ prank, but it should’ve been! Not only was it a genius bit of viral marketing from Weetabix and Heinz, but the ways other brands replied to the Tweet were just brilliant. I loved the comedy value and the feeling of togetherness too with all the different responses — which is exactly what we all needed during lockdown.
— Maria, Client Services