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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8769
    JPY
    USD
    107.28
    GBP
    USD
    0.6842
    CAD
    USD
    1.2528
    INR
    USD
    66.384

    Rates may not be current.