Branding Done Right: April Fool’s Pranks From Brands

What better way to go viral than to launch a creative April Fool’s video where you launch a new product, present some big news, or even announce your closure? Well, the following April Fool’s pranks from brands do just that, some brands coming up with ideas we would definitely want to be a real thing.

1. BBC’s Swiss spaghetti harvest

BBC’s Swiss spaghetti harvest

It’s 1957 and you decide to check the BBC and you see a three-minute report about Swiss farmers plucking spaghetti from trees! Yup, that actually happened, and people fell for it hook, line, and spaghetti noodle. People even called asking for advice on how to grow their own spaghetti trees.

2. Taco Liberty Bell

April Fool's Pranks From Brands: Taco Liberty Bell

In 1996 Taco Bell dropped a bombshell by claiming they bought the Liberty Bell and were renaming it the “Taco Liberty Bell.” Some folks were seriously not amused until they realized it was all just a prank.

3. Left-Handed Whoppers

Left-Handed Whoppers

Burger King went all in and in 1998 ran a prank ad saying they were introducing the “Left-Handed Whopper” specially designed for lefties. People actually asked for it! And we’re not surprised considering all those weirdest fast food items that exist out there.

4. Google Nose

Google Nose

Google once teased us with “Google Nose”. Back in 2013 they claimed you could search using your sense of smell. So many people were disappointed when they realized it was just a whiff of a joke.

5. Canine Airline

April Fool’s pranks from brands: Canine Airline

In 2015 Virgin Australia announced they were launching a new service called “Virgin Australia Canine Crew,” where adorable dogs would serve as flight attendants. Such a shame it was just a prank, we would have signed up for that flight in a heartbeat!

6. Duolingo the Musical

We would get a ticket. Would you?

Duolingo, the language learning app, got sneaky this year by announcing “Duolingo On Ice”. They claimed it was “the world’s first multilingual musical! ” People went crazy over over how good the prank was “The production value of all of this is WAY too good for an April Fool’s joke.” But alas, it was just a prank. 

7. Selfie shoes

Selfie shoes

Shoe brand Miz Mooz pulled a fast one in 2015 with their “Selfie Shoes,” claiming to make snapping selfies easier. Spoiler alert: they weren’t real, despite the fact they keep ending on worst products lists.

8. Nasa dreams big

Nasa dreams big

In 2005 NASA pulled off a clever April Fools’ joke by announcing the discovery of water on Mars. Turns out, it was just an elaborate prank to raise awareness about the Red Planet and space exploration.

9. Gmail Motion

Gmail Motion

Google got us in 2011 with “Gmail Motion,” claiming you could control your email using gestures and body movements. Cue people flailing around in front of their computers trying to send an email with a karate chop. It didn’t work #bummer

10. The Smell-o-Vision TV

April Fool’s pranks from brands: The Smell-o-Vision TV

In 1965 the guys at BBC fooled viewers by airing a segment about “Smell-o-Vision,” claiming that viewers at home could smell the aromas coming from their TV screens. Cool concept though and you can bet that a lot of people fell for it.

11. The Eiffel Tower one

The Eiffel Tower one

Parisians woke up in April 1986 to shocking news: the Eiffel Tower was being relocated to the Euro Disney Resort and a 35,000-seat stadium built in its place. Cue the panic until it was revealed to be an elaborate prank by Le Parisien, a French daily newspaper.

12. The flying penguins

The flying penguins

In 2008 the BBC aired a documentary narrated by Terry Jones, claiming that penguins in Antarctica had developed the ability to fly. Viewers were captivated by the footage of these soaring birds until the truth flew in – it was all CGI magic.

13. Amazon Petlexa

Amazon Petlexa

Amazon went over to the wild side in 2017 by teasing a new feature for their Echo devices called “Petlexa,” claiming it would allow pets to communicate with Alexa and control smart home devices. Paw-some idea, but sadly just a playful prank.

14. Netflix Live

April Fool’s pranks from brands: Netflix Live

In 2017 Netflix dropped a surprise announcement for “Netflix Live,” a streaming service featuring actor Will Arnett providing live commentary on mundane activities like a photocopier, a microwave, a toaster, just to get the hint. Talk about weird Netflix series, no?! As much as we like Will Arnett, this was weird even for him!

15. T-Mobile Phone BoothE

T-Mobile Phone BoothE

T-Mobile got retro-futuristic in 2017 by introducing “Phone BoothE,” a portable booth equipped with 4G LTE, USB charging, and a selfie camera. It was obvious that T-Mobile was trolling AT&T’s misleading 5GE label. Fun, prankish, and new!

16. Google Tulip

Google Tulip

Google kept the laughs blooming in 2019 with “Google Tulip,” claiming to have cracked the code for translating tulip language. Here’s their “why”: “The ability to speak with tulips comes with great environmental and societal benefits. Tulips now have a way to indicate to humans that they’re in need of water, light or simply some more space. As their needs are expressed more clearly, they are able to live a happier and healthier life. “

17. Honda horn emojis

Honda horn emojis

Honda unveiled in 2019 “Honda Horn Emojis,” a way for drivers to express their emotions with custom horn sounds, from a friendly wave to an angry honk. But, and hear us out, this could work, engineers need to look into it and make it a thing.

18. Google Wind

Google Wind

In 2017 Google introduced “Google Wind,” a project aimed at controlling the weather using windmills. Apparently this could blow away any clouds, keeping it clear and nice for a sunny beach day.

Have a happy and joyous April Fool’s Day and if you encounter good pranks, share them with us!

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