Last April, following the Brexit vote, we announced that we were moving the agency to Berlin. Some clients rumbled us but many didn’t, typically those that didn’t watch the film to the end to see staff dressed in lederhosen!
The best April Fool’s are those that appear true at first glance and it’s only on closer exploration that it becomes evident that your leg is being firmly pulled. We were delighted that our April Fool was quoted on ‘The Conversation’ website as an example of possible immigration woes post Brexit.
The Daddy of brilliant April Fool’s is still Panorama’s announcement that due to a mild winter and the virtual elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Viewers wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree were told, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.” But this was in 1957 and the challenge is still to better this over 60 years later.
April Fools’ Day has been popular since the 19th century but its origins are not clear. Some precursors may include the Roman festival of Hilaria, the Holi festival of India and the Medieval Feast of Fools. None of this really matters, it’s just wonderful that we still have a day for playing pranks on friends and family. And customers.
April Fools’ Day is an opportunity for brands to have some fun and make people laugh. But a straight gag is not enough, it has to be partly believable. In the past few years there have been some great corporate examples including Virgin Australia as the first airline in the world to employ dogs as cabin staff; Amazon’s ‘Petlexa’ – an animal-friendly version of its voice-activated personal assistant, Alexa: TripAdvisor recommending family holidays to fictional locations Mordor, Azkaban and the Death Star.
So, who’s going to surprise us this year? It’s high time the BBC’s spaghetti trees were bettered.
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Author: Ed Burnand
Ed's focus is on strategy and management and he has been responsible for the development of numerous innovative client projects across brand, digital, advertising and film. He inspires confidence and believes that planning and knowledge are critical to producing effective communications. He has over 20 years of client-side and consulting experience in the UK and internationally having worked at Tequila London and Telewest Broadband (now Virgin Media).