April Fools’ — Our favourite marketing stunts from the biggest brands

Putting the ‘PR’ in Prank.

Ah, what noble visionary thought up April Fools’ Day?

Well, if our general knowledge based on The Simpsons is anything to go by, then April Fools’ traces its origins back to when April 1st used to signify the start of a new calendar year. This was eventually changed per the Christian calendar we use today, and those still celebrating New Years in April were ridiculed with exploding beer cans hidden in their fridge.

At least that’s how we understood it.

Either way, April Fools’ is now celebrated around the world with jokes, japes and all manner of pranks at the expense of anybody missing a sense of humour. And naturally, it wasn’t long before brands started to get in on the action.

From pink avocados to self-exploding whiskey bottles (no, that isn’t another Simpsons reference), there have been a fair few memorable stunts throughout the years. Here are just a few of our favourites.

Jameson — Glitterbomb deterrent

Anybody hiding alcohol around the house only does so for two reasons. The first — to prevent sip-stealing roommates partying behind their back. The second — well, the less said about that the better. In 2019, Jameson announced ‘Catchmates’ — a whiskey bottle with built-in ‘glittershot’ technology designed to explode in the faces of would-be thieves. Presumably leaving them with the appearance of a bank robber on a hen do.

McDonald’s — Shake that sauce

After an alarming number of people admitted online that they enjoyed nothing more than to dip their McDonald’s fries in their McDonald’s milkshakes (you know who you are), the golden arches was more than happy to accommodate. Announcing a limited run of ‘milkshake dipping sauces’, hopes and dreams were instantly dashed when it was quickly revealed to be a joke.

LEGO — Brick n’ mix

This one definitely caught the attention of enthusiasts spending half their construction time finding the right brick. Unfortunately, the app LEGO claimed to be developing was nothing more than a prank — at least for the time being.

Sainsbury’s — Tickled pink

Remember when supermarkets across the country started selling Peruvian pink chocolate? Well, Sainsbury’s duped Instagram-hungry millennials everywhere with its ‘Rosa-vo’ pink avocados. To be fair, they do look pretty good…

Google — Autocompleters

Ever wondered how Google manages to predict what you’re going to search for next? Ever been scared? Well, not to worry. As it turns out, your search queries aren’t compiled by an algorithm that knows your darkest secrets but is instead interpreted by a living, breathing human being at the other end. Oh no, sorry, that was just a prank — it is an algorithm.

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