It’s that time of year when the naughtiest, trickiest and cleverest come into their own.
April Fool’s Day is like the Superbowl-Oscars for marketers, advertising agencies and PR folk around the world.
The cool cats at Virgin always seem to get it just right. There was #fitnesscoach in 2015 - a plan for Virgin Trains to have carriages running fitness classes - and who could forget Virgin Australia ‘kids-only cabin’ that had every parent ringing their travel agent.
Not so sure about Ansell’s eco-friendly redemption program, which offered customers a discount if they mailed in their used recyclable condoms. (You’d hate to be the junior marketing assistant on that one #itwasajokejoyce.)
Most people, particularly the good folk of Australia, have an excellent sense of humour when it comes to good natured taking the p#$* however, there are those epic fails that we all secretly love.
Jokes aside, here's our Top 5 for standing out in the crowd...
Start now for next year. If only we had a dollar for every time someone had come to our agency in March and said “I want to create some sort of awesome stunt for April Fool’s Day to get our brand out there”. Sigh. Being clever takes time, research and the devil is always in the detail when it comes to execution.
Quietly test it. Make sure it’s funny, quirky or clever to the demographic you’re trying to engage. Don’t be too in-house about it. Often what’s hilarious or outrageous in your industry or to your advertising agency can sail over the heads of those outside it.
Be original and plausible. Imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery when it comes to April Fool’s Day stunts. Slight tweaks on highly successful campaigns are easy to spot. You’ll also have a much higher chance of people sharing and commenting on your con if it’s something that’s at least plausible, could solve a problem or open a brave new world!
Bring on the bells and whistles! Don’t be stingy on the look and feel. Prototypes, videos, computer generated images (CGI) are all part of the theatre and you need to make sure your campaign looks legit.
Be strategic. Don’t just throw it out there and expect it to ‘go viral’. The competition is fierce so, if you really want to make mileage out of your campaign, supercharge it with a PR strategy designed to get people talking. It’s also important to monitor customer feedback/reaction to make sure the joke doesn’t backfire!