Welcome back, Medium friends. Did you enjoy your holidays? Personally, I am still struggling to roll back to my desk in the same sluggish but mildly satisfied fashion I imagine a seal would adopt to move around after a huge meal. This year, Easter Sunday fell on April 1st – meaning that, not only were we occupied with gurgling down almost lethal doses of chocolate, but we could also indulge in the most bizarre and inexplicable tradition of all: April Fools’ day!
These days, companies sure love a good ol’ April Fool’s prank, and spend months preparing for a marketing stunt that will get people talking. A personal favorite of mine is Google Nose, a 2013 stunt promising web users a journey into a new sensorial dimension of web surfing, from smelling freshly baked cookies to old book. What about this year? Keep scrolling to take a look at the funniest and most believable pranks companies rolled out for this April Fools’ day.
What is April Fool’s day? Who thought it was a good idea?
I don’t know about you, but I have never stopped for a second to actually investigate where April Fools’ day comes from. So I thought I’d save you some time – and waste mine, hello thesis deadlines! – by giving you a quick recap on this strange tradition. Turns out there is no easy answer as in where this strange tradition might have originated, or why. The tradition spans all across the world and has been present for centuries, according to a historian from the University of Liverpool.
While some might argue for a connection with Chaucer’s poetry, others believe it to be connected to the fishing tradition in Northern Europe. And while the latter might explain why in some countries, like the Netherlands or Italy, kids enjoy sticking paper fishes on each other’s backs, nobody can be sure of the underlying connection. What a strangely fitting origin story for such a bizarre event!
Without further ado, here are some of my personal favorites among the many April Fools pranks that media agencies and companies rolled out this year.
The one I totally believed: Burger King’s chocolate whopper
Well played, Burger King, well played. The fast food giant decided to generate the most talk and incredulity among social media users by releasing its pranks a few days before April Fools. Not gonna lie, I fell for it and despite the initial refusal to give a real-looking but chocolate tasting whopper the time of day… I was here for it. Bit disappointed I won’t get to taste it anytime soon.
The petty one: Snapchat
Facebook and Snapchat have had Bad Blood™ for years now (Get it? Like the Taylor Swift song against Katy Perry?). It all started with Facebook trying to buy Snapchat, then subsequently making over Instagram to be a better looking, and more interesting copycat of Snapchat. In true Swiftesque fashion, it seems that Snapchat has not taken the offense lightly and took a jab at their competitor with a hilariously petty filter hinting at the thousands of Russian bots on Facebook.
The useful one: Brewolingo
It’s scientifically proven – alcohol makes you speak foreign languages far better. Give me a couple of beers, and you’ll find me blabbering away in my A1 Dutch with unexpected levels of confidence. Dankjewel. Notorious language platform took advantage of this pop science fact to market to its users Brewolingo, a craft beer promising great taste and language fluency. Honestly? Sign me up.
The one we need: BBC’s Newshound
I love dogs. Anything mildly referencing to or portraying or featuring a dog is bound to smile on my face. So you can imagine my enthusiasm and consequent heartbreak when I learned that Newshound – a pet-only news roundup hosted by a dog (who’s name is Pebbles!!) and covering hard topics such as where to find the best digging spots – was just a joke. I love you, Pebbles. You can tell me all about alpacas anytime.