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5 brands that got April Fools right!  

Man in yellow jumper and black bow tie laughing.

Ahh April Fools’. A day full of mischief and fun!  
These playful antics present a unique opportunity for you to connect with your audience in a light-hearted way. 

You can showcase your creativity, humour, and maybe even get a little weird.  

A few of our favourite April Fools campaigns 

Here are a few April Fools campaigns that have made us chuckle over the years. 

PacMaps

In 2015 Google Maps had fun with their users by adding Pac-Man View, which allowed users to play Pacman along real-world streets which is super fun. Google has a long history of playing April Fools pranks – some (like the Gmail Mic Drop) didn’t land well and got them in a bit of hot water.  

Burger King 

Burger King got tongues wagging with their announcement of Whopper-flavoured toothpaste. I’m a burger fiend but this might have been a step too far, even for me! I like my morning minty freshness. But this campaign certainly sparked conversation and showcased the brand’s playful side. 

Iceland 

Iceland is a frozen food supermarket that teased its customers with the notion of frozen flowers to complement its frozen meals. It was a whimsical idea that perfectly encapsulated the essence of April Fools’ Day. 

 

Tinder  

Not to be outdone, Tinder, the dating app, made waves by declaring itself a “fish-free zone” and threatening to ban users with profile pictures featuring their latest fishing conquests. It was a humorous take on the grossly overdone fish-holding photos often seen on dating profiles. 

Screenshit from Instagram that says Tinder will immediately remove all fish pics from member profiles.

Heinz and Innocent  

Last but not least, Heinz introduced the world to “Innocent Smoup,” a concoction blending Heinz Cream of Tomato soup with Strawberry and Banana Innocent smoothie. While the thought of this is a bit grim, it left an impression on its audience.  

These April Fools’ campaigns remind us that laughter and creativity have a much-loved place in marketing, allowing brands to forge memorable connections with their audience in unexpected ways. As April 1st rolls around each year, we eagerly anticipate the next wave of inventive pranks and playful campaigns that will undoubtedly leave us grinning from ear to ear. 

A word of caution 

However, it’s essential for brands to recognise the potential pitfalls of April Fools’ Day campaigns. While humour can be a powerful tool for engagement, it’s crucial to ensure that jokes are tasteful, respectful, and unlikely to cause offence.  

Misjudging the tone or subject matter of a prank can lead to backlash, damaging the brand’s reputation and alienating its audience. Additionally, some consumers may view April Fools’ Day as an opportunity for brands to deceive or manipulate them, eroding trust and credibility.  

Some brands have gotten it VERY wrong in the past, which can have catastrophic consequences. We’ve seen brands cause panic, have their stocks fall, and even create negative environmental impact as a result of some campaigns. So, if you want to make sure you’re not the fool, take this playfulness seriously and really think before you launch. Approach with caution!  

Need a bit of help gauging how playful to be with your audience?  
Get in touch, we’d love to explore it with you.