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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8812
    JPY
    USD
    112.18
    GBP
    USD
    0.6939
    CAD
    USD
    1.3961
    INR
    USD
    68.436

    Rates may not be current.