April Fool’s Day is a celebrated national holiday in American where people play hoaxes, stunts and pranks on one another. It is also on of the few days out of the year that recognized brands and companies get to have a little fun with customers and audiences.
Public relations professionals stir up fun and major noise when it comes to playing practical jokes on customers of a brand. Not only are the jokes comical and enjoyable to hear about, it accomplishes exactly what the public relations professional is supposed to do. It creates buzz and attention for a brand.
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One of the funniest April Fool’s pranks this year, in my opinion, was done by Cheetos and Frito-Lay. Frito-Lay sent out a pretty convincing press release about the introduction of a Cheetos perfume, brilliantly named Cheetau. According to Cheetos and Frito-Lay, the new perfume is "a prestige fragrance that celebrates the irreverent, intriguing and playful nature of the iconic feline." Even better, people actually believed that Cheetau was a real thing. Even better than that, it created major buzz about the brand, and at the end of the day, isn’t that what really matters?
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Google also had to join in on the 2014 April Fool’s Day fun. Each year, Google divisions around the world participate in trying to out-prank itself from the last April Fool’s Day, and this year was no exception.
One of its biggest pranks was launched on Google Maps called the Pokemon Challenge. The winner of the Pokemon Challenge was to receive the title and job position as Pokemon Master at Google. This encouraged many people to participate in the challenge and stirred up quite a bit of noise for the Google Maps division.
Cat keyboard – that needs no explanation right? Google Chrome introduced its QWERTY Cats for Chrome along with its other pranks on April Fool’s Day. If you love your cat, then you should give them access to type on their own keyboard.
Perhaps one of the best uses for April Fool’s Day this year was American Eagle Outfitter’s launch of American Beagle Outfitters. If you’re looking for trendy, fashionable clothing for your dog, then American Beagle is the place for you. The successful clothing company event released a website and ‘dogumentary’ for store’s introduction.
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Of course this stunt turned out to be just another April Fool’s Day shenanigan, but American Eagle made it stand out from the others by linking its website to ASPCA donation. A dollar from every order on the store’s website will also be given to the ASPCA.
It makes me happy to see company’s using its power to better the world around them. It is always great to generate buzz and excitement for you brand, but American Eagle Outfitters did it in a way that also promoted a great cause. As public relations professionals, we should always be able to have fun with our brand, but always remember the bigger picture.
- Shi Ying, L. (2014, March 27). April Fool's Prank? Brand Introduces Dogwear Line 'American Beagle Outfitters'. In Design Taxi . Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://designtaxi.com/news/364713/April-Fool-s-Prank-Brand-Introduces-Dogwear-Line-American-Beagle-Outfitters/
- Kleinman, A. (2014, March). Google Maps Is Taken Over By Pokémon In April Fools' Prank. In Huffington Post. Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/31/google-maps-pokemon_n_5064473.html
- Horovitz, B. (2014, March 31). April Fools' pranks not just for laughs. In USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/03/29/april-fools-april-fools-day-marketing-pranks-cheetos/7008513/
- Aune, S. P. (2014, April 1). Google April Fools’ Jokes 2014: A Complete Rundown. In TechnoBuffalo. Retrieved April 4, 2014, from http://www.technobuffalo.com/2014/04/01/google-april-fools-jokes-2014-a-complete-rundown/