The best April Fools’ Day campaigns are believable—even for an instant—allowing us to suspend disbelief. We know the joke is coming, but we still want to laugh.
What started as a few fun, select hoaxes has spread even beyond April 1. Cards Against Humanity famously sent 30,000 people poop for Black Friday. Brands are now basic if they don’t at least make an attempt. As I’m writing this I hear a rumor that Product Hunt is buying Yahoo. And just for a second I thought, “I could see that.”
But it is getting more and more difficult for brands to surprise us. For years, we have been teased with fake products and fake services. Brands, every year, have been forced to step up their game more and more.
The press release doesn’t do it anymore. The prerequisite is now the fake commercial, image, or some kind of visual.
Google Nose created a well produced video in 2013 to make people seriously believe they would be able to search for smells. It elevated the level in which brands would have to go in the future to surprise an audience.
Last year a beer company created food and a pizza company created beer. Blue Moon introduced the world’s first beer infused oranges—a take off of The Simpsons episode where Homer creates the tomacco, a hybrid of tomatoes and tobacco. And if you like tomatoes, Pizza Hut created a Pepperoni Pilsner infused with Roma tomatoes and Italian herbs.
— Blue Moon Brewing Co (@BlueMoonBrewCo) April 1, 2015
This year, we already seeing some ideas leak before the big day, much like Super Bowl commercials. Brands are realizing that if you’re not first with these jokes, sometimes you’re last.
And this week Daniel Tosh introduced Pee Lady—a celebrity that talks about the medicinal uses of urine. E-liquid maker Vapejoose jumped at this opportunity leaking a video for UR IN, which also satirizes infomercials and ‘get rich’ internet videos.
My idea this year was to create an app for people looking to meet new people. What if you were at a bar, an event or just on the street and you wanted to connect with someone? Right now there would be no way to find them on Snapchat, Instagram, or Twitter. This new app would immediately allow you to strike up a conversation with someone you didn’t previously know.
Isn’t that just the same as talking to someone? Yes. And that’s the joke.
For a second, hopefully, you thought a new app like that would be plausible. Then there’s the punchline. A good April Fools’ Day joke pulls at real emotions and is usually timely. It’s not meant to actually fool you. It just has to answer the question: is it possible?
Stay curious my friends. These are always some of the most interesting commercials in the world.
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