Promotional, informative or entertaining: brands can use social media to offer a wide range of content to inspire their followers. Above all, campaigns and posts have to be credible. However, there is one exception: April 1st. On this day, brands have the freedom to let their creativity run wild to fool their customers. Online media use unbelievable headlines or strange videos. And many companies use April Fools‘ Day to entertain users with a little joke on social media. If they are staged in a creative way, they really can attract attention and get people talking. Let’s have a look at three of the best April Fool’s jokes of the last years and discover how brands can arouse the curiosity and interest of users online.
Volkswagen becomes Voltswagen
Volkswagen caused quite a stir with its April Fool's joke this year. The automaker published a press release and a post on social media announcing that it was changing the name of its U.S. business from Volkswagen to "Voltswagen". The new name was to come into effect in May to show how important it is for VW to invest in electromobility as well as look to the future. The company therefore wants to place "Voltswagen" on all electric models.
In order to make this joke as believable as possible, Volkswagen even tweeted an image of the fake logo and wrote:
"We know, 66 is an unusual age to change your name, but we've always been young at heart. Introducing Voltswagen. Similar to Volkswagen, but with a renewed focus on electric driving. Starting with our all-new, all-electric SUV the ID.4 - available today."
The news spread quickly and the Wall Street Journal and CNBC, among others, picked up on the news. Volkswagen was thus able to land a somewhat different viral hit. The next day, the automaker revealed its April Fool's joke: The name change actually was part of a particularly elaborate April Fool's prank. However, Volkswagen not only wanted to play a joke on its customers, but also to draw attention to the launch of its latest fully electric model. This was announced by a U.S. spokesperson for the company.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons features Whoopee Cushions
In March, Nintendo released an update for its Switch game "Animal Crossing: New Horizon". This not only included a fancy Hello Kitty collaboration and a cake that landed in users' mailboxes, but also a Whoopee Cushion. Players have been able to purchase the Whoopee Cushion from Nook Shopping and then use it in their home on April 1 - pranking their friends. The whoopee cushion was available in three different color options. Nintendo even made an effort to integrate three different variations of the sound into the game.
This year, the Japanese company therefore did not rely on a classic April Fool's joke that misleads users. Instead, it created a fun gimmick for Animal Crossing that allowed users to play a prank on their friends. With this feature Nintendo was not only able to get the attention of the players, but also to tie them to the game.
Google introduces Screen Cleaner
In 2019, Google released the "Screen Cleaner" feature that is supposed to remove physical dirt on Android smartphones. To do this, Google uses a micro-motion sensor that magically detects dust and smudges on the screen - and removes them with the touch of a button. According to the advertisement for Google's new feature, the phone generates micro vibrations to create a non-stick shield that sprays a fresh pineapple scent.
Most users probably immediately recognized this campaign as a funny April Fool’s joke. However, this did not change the fact that Google made users laugh heartily – and thus promoted identification with the brand.
Use April Fools' Day successfully with influencer marketing
These examples of the best April Fools' Day jokes show how brands are using social media for an offbeat promotion on the first of April. Generally, though, brands don't have the same online reach as Google, Nintendo and Volkswagen. To still reach a large audience with a social media campaign - such as for a joke on the first of April - companies and brands can rely on influencer marketing. As an influencer marketing agency, we help companies throughout the entire process, from production to content distribution. With our portfolio of 26,000 influencers, you share a message, whether it’s funny, informative or promotional, at the right time and place in the internet.
As a result you get a high reach through their online presence. And with our campaign service, you can be sure that you are addressing the right target group. Influencer marketing not only generates more followers, but also more traffic and a better image. It makes a brand better known as a whole!