News / Economy

April Fools’ Day Becomes Another Marketing Tool

Mini unveils an April Fools joke before unveiling their new Mini Countryman car at the New York International Auto Show in New York April 1, 2010.
Mini unveils an April Fools joke before unveiling their new Mini Countryman car at the New York International Auto Show in New York April 1, 2010.
Reuters
The April Fools’ Day is dead. Or at least the gentle jester of the common folk has been converted into a corporate colossus controlled by global marketing executives.
 
Companies around the world, from Google to BMW and Sony, have adopted the tradition of goading the gullible on April 1 to show their lighter sides and steal some free publicity.
 
This frame grab image released by Google shows the Google Nose site, a parody site in celebration of April Fools' Day. Having already debuted its wearable Google Glass, the company on Monday showcased “Google Nose,” adding scents to it search results.This frame grab image released by Google shows the Google Nose site, a parody site in celebration of April Fools' Day. Having already debuted its wearable Google Glass, the company on Monday showcased “Google Nose,” adding scents to it search results.
x
This frame grab image released by Google shows the Google Nose site, a parody site in celebration of April Fools' Day. Having already debuted its wearable Google Glass, the company on Monday showcased “Google Nose,” adding scents to it search results.
This frame grab image released by Google shows the Google Nose site, a parody site in celebration of April Fools' Day. Having already debuted its wearable Google Glass, the company on Monday showcased “Google Nose,” adding scents to it search results.
Google Inc extended a practice dating back a decade or so in poking fun at its own ubiquity: it introduced a database of smells, pretended that it was shutting down its YouTube service, offered a treasure-hunting mode and old parchment style navigation on Google Maps, and unveiled Gmail Blue, a new version of its email service that is ... blue.
 
In Japan, telecoms company KDDI offered a mobile phone that was actually a bed - to save ever having to get up. And Sony Corp went to the dogs, rather literally, introducing a TV that only displays pictures in dog-friendly colors and has a remote with paw-enabled buttons.
 
A blog at Twitter, or rather “twttr”, said users who wanted to use vowels would have to pay $5 a month. “Trd th nw Twttr yt? Mr tm fr mr twts!” was one of the blog's more easily deciphered examples.
 
Procter and Gamble Co's mouthwash brand Scope offered a new “Bacon” flavor with taglines like “For breath that sizzles” and the appetizing “Indulge your meat tooth.”
 
German carmaker BMW offered British readers excited at the impending arrival of a royal baby the P.R.A.M. (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile) complete with picture of a sportily styled buggy and corgis at Windsor Castle - inquiries to Joe.Kingzbmw.co.uk.
 
Satire
 
In the more traditional realm of news-based fun, Yahoo's French website led its front page with the announcement that, to save money, President Francois Hollande would move his offices from the Elysee Palace to one of Paris's grittier suburbs.
 
Iceland Review Online reported that the country's central bank had solved the problem of how to value the local currency, the krona, which was badly damaged during the financial crisis - replace it with Africa's CFA franc.
 
In Britain, the Guardian offered its leftish, liberal readers “augmented reality” spectacles to let them “see the world through the Guardian's eyes at all times.”
 
By staring at a restaurant, cinema or retail product the paper's critics' reviews would come into vision without all the hassle of reaching for the phone, wrote the Guardian's anagrammatic correspondent Lois P. Farlo.
 
“Nesta Vowles” had a story in Britain's Daily Mail about owls being trained, Hogwarts-style, to deliver internal mail in an office. It carried photographs of what it called the “Roy-owl Mail.” The Sun mocked up a shot of Mick Jagger in a tent and said the millionaire Rolling Stones were practicing for the Glastonbury rock festival by spending Easter outdoors.
 
But few papers may top the Times Daily of Florence, Alabama, which fronted Monday's edition with a picture of a local bridge coming under simultaneous attack by the Loch Ness Monster, a UFO and Godzilla.
 
“Panic unnecessary: No deadly tomatoes reported near scene,” the paper reported.
 
Could Be True
 
It took French post office, La Poste, to highlight the struggle for survival faced by traditional media in a new technological age; it issued a press release announcing that airborne drones were delivering newspapers to people's homes.
 
Blurring the lines between mirth and marketing, Britain's Daily Mirror carried a story on the launch of glass-bottomed airliners - offering special sightseeing trips over Loch Ness. It would, it said, be operated by Richard Branson's Virgin airline - which duly carried its own online advert for the new planes, along with publicity for its real new domestic service.
 
With April Fools Day ever more an ad man's dream, Coca-Cola put an ironic, postmodern twist on the whole bluff-or-double-bluff atmosphere by advertising a relaunched vanilla version of the fizzy drink in Britain: The slogan? “It's back! - (no really, it is).”
 
If the stress of sifting fact from fiction seemed too much, particularly for fellow journalists writing reports from the frontline of foolery once could have left it to Britain's Metro newspaper to do the legwork and make things easier.
 
Its 2013 “round-up of the best jokes” from other media included a BBC story on NASA's Mars rover tweeting that bullying by Internet trolls was forcing it off Twitter, the Telegraph on rabbits bred with human ears and a supermarket press release offering to deliver food via a 3D printer.
 
Trouble is, those were all made up by Metro. April Fools!

You May Like

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: N.A. from: Jordan
April 02, 2013 2:33 AM
hilarious , just loved it - can u imagine us paying for vowels ??!!! superb !!! or gifting somebody with a bacon mouthwash !!!! or even a garlic mouthwash if u want to terminate your foe's social life !!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8916
JPY
USD
121.32
GBP
USD
0.6487
CAD
USD
1.3252
INR
USD
66.401

Rates may not be current.