April Fools Prank Or Branding Strategy?

@lauriesullivan, (April 01, 2015)




Pranksters roam the Internet in force each April 1, with brands taking to social networks, search engines and YouTube to have a little fun. They even build their own landing pages. Look a little closer at the creativity for each of the pranks and you just might find an underlying message for each. Here’s a look at some of the best April Fools’ Day pranks from around Web.


Google, the biggest prankster of them all, likes to poke fun at its projects. On the day prior to April Fools’ Day, the engine allowed visitors to search on Google backwards by creating a mirror image of its search engine, reversing everything from its logo to its domain name, accessible at com.google. Type something in the search query box to find a mirror image of the words.


Google Fiber jumped in by finding a way to help people get their time back even while they used Fiber. The engineers worked with dial-up engineers, 56k researchers and T1 enthusiasts across the world to build their newest feature: dial-up mode. Then there’s Smartbox by Inbox. And Google Japan released Google Panda, a search engine in a talking stuffed toy Panda bear “engineered with state of the art emotional and conversational intelligence, so all you have to do is speak your mind.”


Petco released Dog on a Stick, a selfie stick for dogs, from Unleashed. Every purchase on April 1 comes with a free cat selfie stick and harness. When consumers try to order the product, an error message serves up on the screen: “Oh snap! Dogs and cats everywhere are trying to get their paws on a selfie stick. Unfortunately, our servers are overwhelmed by the demand and we’re unable to take more orders at this time.”


A BMW dealer took advantage of jokester day to promote the dealership and give away a $50,000 car. “A BMW dealership put a front-page ad on the New Zealand Herald offering a new car to the first person who showed up on April 1, with their current vehicle and the coupon,” reports Time. “When Marsh arrived at 5:30 a.m., she asked for an employee named “Tom,” per the ad’s instructions, and quickly said hello to a new ride with the license plate NoFooL.”


When Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire, discovers long-lost relatives in Branson, Mo., he decides to move the U.S. headquarters there. Microsoft brings the company’s operating system back to basics with MS-DOS for smartphones and mobile devices.


 


MediaPost.com: search

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