Every year, there are companies that claim to take their best-selling product from the market, but a good April Fools joke requires more originality. With a good April Fool’s joke, you put your business on the map in a positive way and you reach out to many people.
A joke for any business
According to David de Smit, owner of Marketing and PR agency Bright8, it does not matter what kind of business you have or how long your business has been around for a good joke. “As long as you have a good approach. Above all, it must be fair play. Your goal should not be to fool people, but to create a fun action that people share. So it does not matter if people see that it can not be true. If they like the joke, they’ll share it anyway. “
Your goal should not be to fool people
It is important that the joke is in line with what your brand stands for. De Smit: “If you create media attention, you do not want only your name to be on it. People need to understand that it’s coming from you, it’s more important than going viral. So make sure there is a message in your joke. “
Tip from De Smit: “See where your target group is. For example, spread the joke from your own socials or the local business association. ” Although it is often big names that go viral with a joke, you can also easily follow the tradition as a start-up company. “If you have a really good campaign, it’s helpful to put some marketing budget into it. With an ad in the newspaper or on your social media, for example. ” Advertising on social media is already possible with a small budget.
Volkswagen becomes Voltswagen
An April Fool’s joke, many thought when Volkswagen announced in March 2021 that it would change its name to Voltswagen. This is due to the ambition to fully focus on electric driving. But the car brand had also changed the names of its social media accounts to Voltswagen, and employees kept insisting that it was no joke. Doubt set in. Would that be true then?
De Smit: “The name change could have happened like this, and everyone in the company persevered. Such a joke does not harm your business and generates a lot of media attention. With this joke, Volkswagen is also in line with the brand’s core values. These are just the ingredients for a good April Fool’s joke. ”
Joke will be a new product
An April Fool’s joke led to a surprising result for De Zuivelhoeve. In 2018, the dairy company devised Boer’n Yoghurt with a splash of Licor 43 in honor of April 1st. Especially for people who have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. After a bowl of Licor 43 yogurt, everyone leaves with a smile.
Make sure there is a message in your joke
The product was such a great success that a year later the company sought cooperation with the manufacturer of Licor 43. De Zuivelhoeve had received many disappointed reactions and decided, after all, to bring the yoghurt to market.
(G) an April Fool’s joke
We do not fall for that, thought the listeners of Qmusic in 2021. The radio station placed an ad in the newspaper up to 1 April. In it, they promised a car to the first listener, who would come to a certain place on April 1 at. 8.00 in the wrong clothes. Julia from Ter Aar was the only one who came to see for safety. A good choice, because she won a brand new electric Hyundai.
Sometimes a joke from one industry can be reused very well in another
De Smit: “Sometimes a joke from one industry can easily be reused in another. Car companies abroad have already used this setup more often. It’s smart, sympathetic and safe: this joke can not go wrong. Qmusic also handled the communication around it well. Afterwards, a nice video appeared on social media of how it all went. An April Fool’s joke works best when everything is in line with the rest of your communication. That’s how this joke fits into Qmusic’s Error Hour. ”
Lions become vegans
Great news from Blijdorp. On March 30, 2008, the zoo announced that from now on, the animals would only be fed vegetarian food. Even the meat eaters. Research would show that ‘most carnivores can do without meat after a period of habituation’ and even live longer. In addition, the zoo wanted to be climate-friendly, and less meat means less greenhouse gas emissions. On April 1, the public could ‘enjoy the lions’ first salad snacks’ at 11 a.m. Many media outlets were unaware that this was a joke and shared the zoo’s press release.
Eindhovens Dagblad proves that you can also miss the point enormously. For that we go back in time: on March 31, 1947, the newspaper carried an article about an engineer who is said to have left behind a ‘bottle of nuclear fog’ when he moved. “The nuclear fog threatens the City of Light with destruction,” the newspaper said. The bottle would be rendered harmless on April 1, but Eindhoven residents who did not trust the site could seek refuge on Stratumse Hei.
Certain items are just not finished
Not only did a lot of Eindhoven residents flee the city, other media also picked up the news. As far as the BBC. Readers could not help but laugh. 1,500 readers canceled their subscriptions and a window was smashed at the editorial office. De Smit: “Certain topics are simply not finished. Even jokes that are just too serious or complicated should be avoided. It is often seen that companies are already sending such a press release on March 23, just too long before April 1st. When in doubt, just do not do it. “
A minor risk is that no one perceives the joke. Björn van den Ham, marketing and PR consultant at Bright8: “If you make a film and create a campaign, you have to invest a lot. Even if it does not hurt your image, you will lose money for the campaign if no one shares or likes the joke. “
So you go for an April Fools joke? Do it right or not: your joke is at least original, intelligent and sympathetic. And make sure the joke fits your brand.