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April Fools

April Fools'

02 April 2015 | Lloyd Hughes

April Fools’ day is usually hot property for creative PR’s. It’s a tough gig, as the volume of brands trying to get in on it means you really have to pull out the stops if you want to get attention.

It’s become something of a staple though, with most media outlets prepped and ready to receive them. Some outlets love it, highlighting their favourites and even creating their own, whilst others pour scorn on the ideas. Either way, a brand mention is a brand mention so if you’ve got a decent (or even semi-decent idea) it could be worth getting it out there just to get in the spirit.

Let’s take a look at a few of yesterday’s japes and high jinks…

Stunts can be an expensive business, but Longleat Safari park didn’t do too badly with its idea for bubble wrapped cars to protect against inquisitive monkeys, aggressive rhinos, hungry lions and the like. Cheap yet effective, it appeared in print in the Daily Mail as well as on a host of other news sites and can only have cost a few quid to pay for some token bubble wrap and a photographer.

One I wish was true was Livingsocial’s idea of a ‘park and zorb’ as opposed to park and ride. If this were a genuine option I’d forego the office car park and opt for the park and ride, although I can envision town centre chaos as out of control zorbs roll into the paths of oncoming cars, although actually, that might add to the fun.

Virgin Trains put out the concept for a ‘fitness carriage’, where it revealed plans for an actual gym and climbing wall to be incorporated on board its trains. If shower facilities were provided, I’d genuinely like to do this on a two-hour train journey to the big smoke and I’d definitely see the benefit of train over plane travel when heading north of the border.

Tartan paint has been the bane of the work experience kid since time immemorial, but Valspar looked to make it a reality with a technologically advanced roller that promised to make it possible.

Another Virgin one (this time Virgin Media) promoted WIFI enabled swimwear, which again I’m willing to bet would actually be popular. The ‘swimming selfie instant upload’ would become a reality. At last.

Marmite opted to go for “Marmite clear’, which is basically an invisible spread, whilst Burger King’s ‘Flame Grilled Fragrance’ was set to become a best seller in Japan.

Another one saw Arsenal and Puma team up to announce a left-footed football. Humous facemasks were on offer from Moorish and the Little Soap Company, whilst the RNIB were looking to recruit cats for CATNAV purposes. Meanwhile Ginsters had launched the ‘Special Essex Edition’ Chicken and Chardonnay Pasty.

There were literally too many to mention, which just serves to highlight how hard it is to get publicity.

April Fools’ jokes are meant to be semi-believable, but with technology being what it is, it’s actually getting harder to determine jokes from reality. Outlandish tech means anything could be possible. Take the Amazon Dash for example, which was released the day before April Fools’ day and is a tool that makes it easy to reorder everyday items that run out. Branded buttons placed around the house enable you to automatically restock things like washing powder, loo roll, soap etc. at, well, the touch of a button. This seemed like a joke. It wasn’t.