It’s the first day of April—April Fools’ Day—so beware of the myriad pranks you may encounter, in real life, and, most likely, on the internet. If you read something particularly out-there bonkers today, assume it’s untrue until officially confirmed otherwise (etiquette we unfortunately must observe in this era of misinformation, anyway).
Pulling a truly great April Fools’ Day joke is a difficult task these days. When I used to run the social media accounts of some big-name brands, our teams would agonize over what to do—what will leave them laughing and not scorned by our innocent prank? If we can’t think of something truly clever, is it even worth it? The answer to the latter, I think, is no. Well, sort of.
If you look to big brands who’ve done April Fools’ Day well, you can glean that they’ve put a lot of thought and effort into their jokester campaigns.
Insurance company Progressive offered Red Planet Protection—coverage for when you live on Mars—complete with a custom website. Amazon Echo introduced Petlexa, which gives pets voice control to bark orders. (This one caught me at a weird time and for a moment, I believed it. I’ll never not be embarrassed about that.) Petco invented the DooDoo Drone—a hands-free way to clean your pet’s messes. Mall of America introduced texting lanes, which, honestly, is a great idea and should be a real thing.
Pop Chips touted their new “grab ’em by the bags” cheddar cheese flavor of Patriot Puffs, which, while I find it pretty funny, is more a political statement than a prank and one that likely left their audiences divided.