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No one is exactly certain of the origin of April Fool’s Day. Some historians have linked it to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in costumes. Others speculate that its origins date back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. People who were slow to get the news about the new calendar year starting on January 1 continued to celebrate the New Year during the last week of March. Ultimately, these confused folks became the butt of jokes and hoaxes.

Today, April Fool’s Day is celebrated worldwide, and although it is not a national holiday anywhere, it is a fun day that individuals and even marketers have enjoyed on a yearly basis.

As marketers, we are a creative bunch, so why not join in the fun and draw a little more attention to your brand in a unique way? An April Fool’s joke as a marketer certainly isn’t intended to denigrate your brand. It’s intended to have the strength and conviction of knowing what your brand stands for and then having fun with it for a day.

Below are a few examples of brands that have enjoyed the day with their own unique versions of April Fool’s jokes. They are light-hearted jokes both for their consumers to enjoy and, perhaps more importantly, show the human side of the respective brand by poking fun at themselves.

Next year, put an April Fool’s Day joke on your promotional calendar and see what kind of excitement you can create!

Pets Unleashed by T-Mobile

Pets are always a winning formula. In 2015, T-Mobile had fun unleashing its new plan to bring the family pet into your phone plan. “We’re fed up with AT&T’s and Verizon’s human-only approach to wireless,” says the video description on YouTube. “That’s why we’re introducing Pets Unleashed – a new family plan that includes ALL family members, even if they lack opposable thumbs.” Watch the ad on T-Mobile’s YouTube channel.

dog playing on phone

Putting the “U” in Qantas

Many travelers outside of Australia are known to add the letter “u” to the spelling of Qantas because of how it is pronounced. Little-known fact: the name Qantas is an acronym that stands for “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.” So several years ago on April Fool’s Day, the airline had fun with this ongoing misspelling mishap and posted on social media that it was going to, in fact, add the letter “u” to the spelling of its brand name.

Keyless Keyboard by Google Japan

Google is known for its steady stream of April Fool’s Day jokes. In 2015, Google Japan released a video featuring its “new” keyless keyboard – a party horn attached to a device that translates the length of the party horn into letters. You’ll have to stay with this one for a bit – it’s subtitled, but a great chuckle. Watch the full video on Google Japan’s YouTube channel.

japanese google

Want help planning your brand’s 2018 April Fool’s Day prank? Contact us!

Joe Myers

Author Joe Myers

Joe is the Executive Account Director at InQuest Marketing. He leads the charge on several key accounts and research initiatives, and supports new business efforts. Joe's favorite InQuest memory is moving into the current (larger) office space following tremendous growth as an organization. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer whose hobbies include gardening and swimming.

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