Some people wait all year for Christmas Day to come around. It’s the pick-me-up they need, the boost that sees them through the winter months. Others count down the days until Easter, where chocolate eggs and hot cross buns are acceptable meals. And for those of us who enjoy a little entertainment when we’re shopping, April Fool’s Day is the one we look forward to.
Celebrated every year on the 1st April, AprilFool’s Day is an opportunity to play pranks on others.
Dating back to 1582, when France swapped over its calendar systems – resulting in those who hadn’t heard the news to be branded ‘April Fools’ for not knowing the New Year no longer began on April 1st.
Fast forward a few centuries and it’s changed a little since then. Whilst nobody’s getting confused over New Year’s Day, businesses and brands are jumping on the bandwagon to have some fun.
Whether it’s Fast-Food giants Burger King serving up Whopper-flavoured toothpaste or H&M announcing a Mark Zuckerberg collection of grey t-shirts, it’s a chance to shed the corporate skin and become the people’s brand.
It’s simple. It’s a chance to kickstart your KPI’s in a single day. Over half of the world’s population – 65.6% to be exact – has access to the internet (Oberlo, 2021), and they spend an average of 6 hours and 56 minutes online every day.
That means that any online device – whether it’s a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet – is a window of opportunity on April Fool’s Day. Because not only are they online as always, but they’re waiting to be pranked, too.
April Fool’s Day allows you to build brand awareness, develop an online (and offline!) presence, generate potential new customers, and more importantly, show the world not all businesses are run by robots. And trust us, that makes a difference.
It’s not just a day for one-off jokes though. It’s an opportunity to learn about your audience – what can you do with your digital marketing to provoke a positive reaction? And how can you do this on the remaining 364 days of the year?
If you’re stuck for some ideas on how to make your digital marketing matter all year round, here’s some of our favourite campaign ideas to inspire you.
April Fool’s Day is a goldmine for fake product gags. FromYorkshire Tea’s spreadable ‘tea on toast’ to McDonald’s milkshake flavoured sauce pots, brands bring dreams (and nightmares) to life.
Fake product pranks are brilliant for building brand awareness, and for promoting your real products. For example, think about McDonald’s milkshake pots. They’ve taken a staple menu item, one that always causes controversy – should you or shouldn’t you dip your chips in your shake?– and they’ve transformed it into that very same thing.
All it takes is a single tweet. As long as someone starts off a discussion, you’ve got viral traction. Suddenly, everyone’s aware of your brand, whether they’re new customers or returning ones.
And what’s better? The milkshakes are in their mind, so now you’ve got some potential sales of your real products. All you need to replicate this for your brand is some editing software and some big ideas.
If fake products aren’t your fancy, why not take it a step further and completely rebrand your business. It’s the perfect way to promote a new product, garner some extra press, and reinforce your company values.
Remember when iconic carmakers Volkswagen announced they’d be changing their name to Voltswagen? Press releases sent round days before April Fools claimed the change was to reflect the growing importance of electric transport. Not only is this part of Volkswagen’s future plans, but it turns out it was their way of promoting the launch of the all-electric ID.4 SUV.
By completely rebranding – or pretending to, at least – they were able to stretch the possibilities of product announcements and reaffirm their company values. And if that wasn’t enough, they caused chaos in newsrooms all over the world who all believed it was true.
If this doesn’t give you food for thought for your next launch, you need to start considering it.
April Fool’s isn’t all fun and games. It can be a great time to reward some loyal customers with some clever tricks.
By launching an actual one-day-only offer, you’ll be able to create some quick conversions that’ll get your customers talking about your business. Simply put, it’s one way to tick off a whole bunch of your KPI’s in one go. How’s that for two birds, one stone, eh?
If you need some ideas, why not be as literal as American airline JetBlue Airways. In the past, they’ve run their ‘April’s No Fool’ campaign, where if your name is April, they’d give you a credit equal to the value of your flight.
How could you twist your brand – whether it’s your names, your products, or anything else associated with you – to offer something unique for just one day?
April Fool’s Day is a whole heap of fun for brands, but the marketing madness doesn’t stop there. Once April 1st is over, you’ve still got 364 days of the year to grow your business and build your empire.
If you’d like to keep the momentum up and get ahead of your competitors, get in touch with us today to plan your next move.