April Fools’ Day fell over Easter this year. There were no early-office pranks to immediately put us on high alert. On the day where for brands, almost anything goes, our defenses were at an all time low.
And some brands stepped in to ruthlessly seize their infamy. We’re not prepared to divulge whether we were caught out by any. But here are a few of the best:
First up, YouTube set out to announce that after 8 years, it was finally ready to select a winner. At midnight, it was to stop receiving videos, and choose the greatest ever clip – with a prize fund of… $500. With nearly 10m views, and (read the comments below) people STILL falling for the hoax, it takes the crown. [Watch].
It was one of many from Google on the day. Their Google Maps Explore Treasure Mode had some going [watch], and their newest search tool Google Nose will certainly have had a good few of its 5.5m viewers leaning in to get a whiff of their screens. [Watch].
Oral hygienists Scope ‘launched’ their newest product, bacon flavoured mouthwash. It took off virally, winning nearly 4m views. [Watch].
American Eagle Outfitters raised heartbeats with their newest range of skinny jeans, the ‘very close’ Spray On range: [Watch].
And Twitter raised eyebrows by announcing Twttr, the free version of its service – declaring that users would soon have to pay to use vowels in their tweets. [Look].
Virgin was also one of the cleverer players, with its glass-bottomed plane – something that was bound to win attention. [Look].
BMW tapped into easily PR-able themes, by creating the Royal P.R.A.M, in anticipation of the newest addition to the British Monarchy. Betting firm Bwin followed a similar quick-win route by enrolling Manchester United legends to play some ‘telepathic’ football. It’s a great watch and went down well with 2.7m views: [Watch].
Vimeo took advantage of the relentless online cat-mania by announcing Vimeow, their newest service: [Look].
At the more surreal end of the spectrum, Barclaycard announced PayWag, a service allowing dogs to make payments on behalf of their owners. [Watch].
And the US Army kept with the cat theme, using its austere tone to persuade us it would be helping cut costs by deploying grumpy-looking felines to work with Military Police. [Read on].
Innovative auto manufacturer Honda created the HondaAir, a vacuum-designed barber tool, which seemed less than convincing: [Watch].
And Finally, liberal torrent site PirateBay got quite pokey with its facetious dig at America being the ‘land of the free’. [Look].
So with the trust for some of your favourite brands completely destroyed, we naturally expect sales to plummet, and the whole affair to end in contrition and regret. Start planning for next year, folks. And stay light on your toes.