Written by Robert Bone • Published 4th April 2019 • 2 minute read

April Fool’s Day is an exciting time for marketers. Many brands cleverly tweak their tone of voice online to great effect. Acting in a slightly goofier fashion can reveal the human side of a brand, making them more relatable and personable. This day can inspire all, including those who do not have the budget for traditional stunts – simple yet effective visuals can spark the imagination of your customer base and make them remember you.

Below are PHA Social’s favourite April Fool’s day gags from 2019, as well as our 3 top tips on how to make your audience giggle next year!

  1. Being directly funny isn’t the only option

A lot of brands seemed to default to the traditional gag of releasing fake products, however, this doesn’t have to be the only way to cut through the April Fool’s noise. This day is about being light-hearted – what would you like your customers to know about your brand that you may have difficulty saying normally?

Whilst we might have expected The Muppets to tell a joke, we felt their simple acknowledgement of the day was light-hearted and warm – it reminded us of how the Muppets make us feel.  Could you use April Fool’s for a similar effect with your workplace or employees, reminding customers of the friendly faces behind the brand?

  1. Respond to ongoing conversation surrounding your brand

Some conversations/feelings around your brand will not be appropriate to respond to when they appear casually throughout the year. However, April Fool’s day is an opportunity to engage in this conversation, due to the relaxed environment social media supports. Duolingo is iconic for its repetitive notifications. Their video announcing Duolingo Push was able to merge all the conversations surrounding this feature into a light-hearted piece that shows they not only listen to their audience, but they also acknowledge a comical part of their business.

Introducing Duolingo Push

The moment you've all been d̶r̶e̶a̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ waiting for…Introducing Duolingo Push! We're taking notifications out of your phone and into the real world. That's right: Duo the Owl will literally show up to remind you to practice so you never miss a day of language learning again.Try it today: https://push.duolingo.com

Posted by Duolingo on Monday, April 1, 2019

On the flip side, some online pranks will spark new conversation surrounding your brand, revealing gaps in your product catalogue. Love Hearts Sour Hearts feels like a perfect anti-product to us, which many could relate too!

  1. Do not admit you know it’s April Fool’s Day

For many, April 1st is a normal day, and so there are plenty of genuine articles and content posted online. The art of this holiday is to blend your jokes so that they appear (largely) natural and authentic. If you have someone in your comments saying, ‘this has to be an April fool’s, surely!’, then you have succeeded in creating a mystery – and your engagement will grow from this confusion. Caffé Nero was able to successfully maintain their sophisticated style whilst establishing this illusion by utilising Instagram stories. They ‘announced’ that ‘due to a manufacturing issue’, their chocolate cups had to be recalled.

#AprilFools

Due to a manufacturing issue we have had to recall our chocolate cups. Sorry for any inconvenience caused. #AprilFools

Posted by Caffè Nero on Friday, March 29, 2019

April Fool’s day should not be seen as a difficult part of your marketing calendar. Listen to your audience, be bold, try something different and monitor the results so learnings can be applied to the next campaign. Just remember that important, genuine posts should be avoided on this day or you could encounter the same response that Theresa May’s announcement of a higher living wage had on Monday.

If you would you like to capitalise on national days such as April Fool’s Day in the future, get in touch with PHA Social to discuss how we can help people discover your brand in a fun and creative way.