April Fools day has been and gone and it wouldn’t have been the same with a few brands and organisations trying to fool us into believing whatever they’ve come up with this year.
But jokes aside, what does this do for the company in question? Is it a little joke that makes their customers smile, or is it a risky move to make that could go very wrong?
I spotted a few April Fools jokes from brands and companies that I follow, such as the text received from O2 above, that just made me smile and that were quite clearly jokes. Timehop also got me just for a second with their cheeky little posts on my Timehop feed. When I asked my friends, they said this one confused them for a moment too. Well played Timehop and O2!
But what happens when it all goes wrong?
Gmail decided to prank it’s 900 million users by adding a new button next to the send button. This button inserted a gif of a minion dropping a microphone on the end of the email.
Sounds like a bit of harmless fun? Imagine if you were unaware of this new button. Imagine you’re extremely busy and click this button by accident. For some, they don’t have to imagine… This gif ended up on many an important email and caused huge problems for some businesses. It has been reported that some have even lost their jobs over this.
Google have released a statement apologising for any issues the gif may have caused – “Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year.” What was meant to be just a joke ultimately affected peoples lives.
It really cannot have done anything good for their reputation from the affected users and what was designed to be a harmless joke has caused more trouble than it’s worth.
My humble advice? Taking part in these April Fools jokes is okay if you’re a big brand or organisation under certain conditions:
- Make sure it really is a joke. Either say so to cover your back, like O2, or make it clear that you’re just having some fun. You’ll still have people fooled for a moment.
- Make sure it can’t have any serious consequences (a few people feeling a little sheepish that they believed Ant & Dec were splitting up is okay!)
- Just think it through. It’s meant to be a joke! Top marks to Pimms for the joke below, it was one of my favourites!
What were your favourite April Fools? And which ones did you believe? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time…