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#SophiesChoice - April Fools! 4 ways brands have made a day of lies into success.

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It's a day all of us know about, and a day that so many of us are fooled by, but with social media being such an optimal tool for virality, the scope and reach of some of these stunts are getting bigger every year. It has in fact now turned into a real opportunity for brands. With the international community being so tuned in to the day's antics, they are more succeptible to tuning into and engaging with branded content - as long as it sticks with the general mood. I wanted to take a look at some brands who have really managed to capture the attention and affection of the online community.

Maybe next year, you will join the ranks of pranksters and see April Fools 2015 as an opportunity to create truly great content that will inspire future customer loyalty and generate new business.

Who dares?

Be Bold

This is the one day of the year where you are allowed/supposed to do something a bit naughty. So many people come up with so many pranks each year, that to stand out, you have to really push the boat out. I'm afraid re-arranging someone's computer keys or applying fake tatoos won't cut it - you're a brand. People expect you to be professional, even if it means a professional prank. 

Virgin America and Nest - Total Temperature

The concept is simple and so obviously ridiculous, yet from the comments, quite a few people fell for this one. According to Richard Branson, there will be no need to wait to arrive at your destination to feel its weather's effects. WIth Total Temperature mounted on an Aeroplane's seat back, you can choose out of a variety of weather to feel whilst in-flight. Options include the warmth of a Cancun afternoon or a Chicago polar vortex. The beauty of this ad though is its incredibly professional production, and it stays very on-brand. Surely Richard Branson wouldn't lie to us...

Make people laugh

It's April Fools. This is your time to be your university student self. The one who had the time to sit around all day planning pranks to pull on the studious housemate before he came home - if that's you, I'm sorry! Don't be subtle, see how ridiculous you can possibly get - it's likely that someone out there will still believe you - the internet is already full of so many lies already after all.

Vegemite - Vegemite iDrink 2.1 energy drink

So making people laugh is good, but laughing at yourself in the meantime is even better. This post from Vegemite is so appealing because it inspires people to engage with it. Vegemite. In a drink. The idea appeals to all your senses (and not really in a pleasant way). But it does show the brand to have a sense of humour and make sthem appeal more real to their fans (and of course friends of fans).

Give something extra

This is not an arena to be selling in. People don't want to see a stunt that is actually force-feeding them a new product or service you are offering. You are already tricking them once after all... GIve them a sneak peak into the real you. This is actually where smaller brands can win just as big as large corporations. Show them your personality, and show them you care.

Google - Pokemon Challenge

Google try to out-do themselves every year for April Fools and this year was another grand success. There were so many jokes over the day, I wouldn't be surprised if they spoke more lies than truths. I particularly liked this viral, as although the video is (sadly) a fake, they really did offer all Google Maps users the chance to catch 'em all on their own iOS or Android device. They took the chance to give back something to their geekiest and most avid fans.

 

Try to laugh WITH your fan, not AT them

Nobody likes to feel stupid - least of all, your fans. After all, they spend all year buying from you, they really don't deserve the point and laugh routine.

Denny's Diner - Prank Idea

Denny's got on the April Fools wagon by simply coming up with other April Fools ideas. They definitely hit a nerve with their "Prank idea: don't" tweet, which shows that you don't always need to be a prankster to make some April Fools themed noise.

 

What were your favourites from this year?

 

Sophie Figgis

Sophie Figgis is Inbound Marketer at Influence Agents, sniffing out the most innovative and extraordinary news and content available, presenting social media and inbound marketing at their very best.

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