Businesses joining in the fun of April Fool’s Day with branded hoaxes is by no means a new phenomenon. But, this year, many are reading the room and taking a more lighthearted approach.
The pause in April Fool’s marketing ploys last year was a result of the global pandemic, but this year, as AdWeek notes, brands are easing back into the holiday with slightly less cynical or heavy-handed pranks.
From Aussie business such as Whiskey Loot to international brands such as Volkswagen, businesses are launching fake products and experiences. Here are SmartCompany’s favourite April Fool’s stunts (so far).
1. Whisky Loot’s mock sister brand Water Loot
Aussie whisky subscription brand Whisky Loot sells boxes of premium scotches, single malts and new world whiskies accompanied with tasting guides.
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This April Fool’s Day, the Melbourne-based business launched Water Loot.
But instead of guiding customers along a whiskey-tasting journey, Water Loot takes them through the diverse flavours of water varieties.
The video campaign even includes an informative demonstration in water-based cocktails.
2. Melbourne aquarium takes meals underwater
Melbourne’s Sea Life Aquarium launched “a world-first” underwater dining experience in time for April Fool’s Day.
“Competing with sharks, rays and hundreds of fish for food, Underwater Private Dining gives guests the opportunity to even closer to the magnificent marine creatures residing at the Aquarium,” Sea Life said in a statement.
But the offering is not simply a joke. The aquarium really is offering a range of dining experiences including Dine Under the Sea, Shark Tunnel, Mermaid Garden and Shipwreck Theatre, which include a meal surrounded by water. Hopefully diners can remain dry throughout the experience.
3. Volkswagen’s high-voltage prank
German automaker Volkswagen announced it would change its name in the US to Voltswagen, to draw attention to its latest electric vehicle offering.
The announcement had news outlets and the public fooled for several days, until Volkswagen back tracked on its prank and issued a follow up statement.
“The renaming was designed to be an announcement in the spirit of April Fool’s Day, highlighting the launch of the all-electric ID.4 SUV,” Volkswagen spokesman Mike Tolbert said.
Brisbane-based Trampoline retailer Vuly spent seven years bouncing ideas around before launching its anti-gravity trampoline just in time for April Fool’s Day.
“After seven years of design, Vuly AIR is revolutionising the trampoline industry and pushing the limits of what’s possible in your own backyard,” the company said in a statement.
5. ME Bank’s Bucksuit
ME Bank has pivoted into the fashion space this April Fool’s Day with ‘Bucksuit’, an anti-laundering suit made from 100% ME-rino wool. Get it?
Combining fashion with financial management tools, the suit is said to offer a “svelte cashless lock” and provide a “budget-tightening hoody drawstring for tunnel vision”, to help stop out frivolous spending”.