April Fools Pranks 2012 – Viral publicity gold

31 Mar

On the 1st of April every year, pranksters around the world set to work to turn the world upside down one joke at a time. April Fools’ day is celebrated in most parts of the world and is a PR gold mine if done correctly. Brands can get good coverage by the media if they pull a prank that is a little far fetched but still believable.

April fools day brand love and the viral nature of social media sharability

April fools’ day is ideal for brands to draw attention to themselves by releasing a good clean fun April fools’ Day campaign. The purpose of these campaigns is to create a splash and hope that friends will share it with their friends, only to find out later on that they were fooled.

Social media is becoming more and more about sharability since Facebook introduced the “share” button and Twitter introduced the Re-tweet. A good April fools’ day joke can travel a long way and build good brand salience and “brand like” to those who may not have considered your brand before.

Word of mouth picks up and BAM your brand is well thought of and remembered for being that little bit quirky on the one day of the year when you can be. This will cost your brand virtually nothing to create and have a big wow factor pay off in the end.

Although, I wouldn’t recommend pulling a prank like “Hey everyone, we are giving away everything in our store for free” because that would make people mad and I don’t think many people would laugh at that.

So far the pranks I’ve seen are:

Vegemite – Cherry Flavour:

For those who are not Australian, Vegemite is a brown yeast concentrate spread that us Aussies love to put on our bread. It is salty and not sweet. Many visitors to our fair country will try Vegemite and have mixed reactions but most reactions are negative. Aussies love this brown stuff though and it is one of our national foods!

Vegemite announced on Facebook this Cherry Flavoured version of Vegemite  which certainly fooled some people! Gross!

To which they responded a few hours later with this news paper clipping. “April Fools! As if we’d change the flavour of Australia’s favourite spread”

Which then prompted the best comment ever. HIGH FIVE!!!

Google – 8 bit Google Map:

Google has announced that they have created an 8 bit version of Google maps. It is available on old school cartridge to be played on your old Nintendo since it was one of the highest selling computer game systems ever sold. Works just like the Google maps you know today… but looks that little bit more retro. And it has a tune. I love tunes! 🙂 Check out the Google Lat and Long Blog to see for yourself.

Ikea – Allen Key Recall:

Ikea Australia announced that they have accidentally been selling left handed allen keys that can all now be handed in at the store and replaced.

Photo credit: @Prakky

Mumbrella -New Headhunting Agency

Mumbrella is sort of the Aussie Equivalent to Mashable and they released this announcement this morning. Nice tongue in cheek poke of fun at themselves and the reader culture.

Mini Countryman – Build your own

Well I do have some friends who have been trying to build a car for years, so maybe this April fools day joke would actually have a market. I love how you need to cut out and post away to register your interest by 12pm April 1st. I wonder what you will get if you do send away…. I’m tempted.

Photo credit: @beaupurr

Telstra Australia – Retro pay phone return

In Australia in the 80’s these phones were everywhere. Slowly phased out and replaced by silver looking phones…. then mobile phones, Telstra says these phones are set to make a comeback. Retro cool!

Lorna Jane – 80’s G-string Leotard

Gym clothing store Lorna Jane tricked Facebook fans by announcing “Just Landed: LJ Studio 95 Cutout “LIKE” It ? Shop It Here:” Turns out it really is a Lorna Jane creation dug out of the vaults from 1995. Again, Retro cool rules.


Have you seen any other April Fools day pranks? Leave your comment below with a link so we can all share the love!

7 Responses to “April Fools Pranks 2012 – Viral publicity gold”

  1. samstillreading April 1, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    Love those! I had only seen the Ikea one in today’s paper.

  2. Savvy April 1, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    I thought this Lorna Jane one was pretty good!

    • belindabel April 1, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Thanks that’s a great one I’ll add it in! 🙂


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    […] (Hat-tip: Marketing Nabbed) […]

  2. Google’s April Fools’ Day Prank: 8-Bit Google Maps | World Of The News - April 1, 2012

    […] marketing message just for fun if you represent a brand. I’m compiling 2012 brand pranks here: https://marketingnabbed.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/april-fools-pranks-2012-viral-publicity-gold/ So far I have Google, Ikea and Vegemite. Keep them […]

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