Apr 01 April Fool’s Day: The Do’s and Don’ts for Brands on Social Media
March came and went and now it’s time to kick April off with a little bit of fun. Pranksters everywhere look forward to April Fool’s Day, because it’s the only time of year it’s acceptable to tell an outrageous lie and get away with it. Not only is April Fool’s Day great for shenanigans at home and in the office, but it’s also a perfect opportunity for brands to have some fun on social media.
Despite all the laughs that come with carrying out a prank, an important thing to remember is that not all of your fans see humor the same way. The prank shouldn’t offend people, so be sure to take recent events in the media into consideration. Translation: If a topic is sensitive, stay away! April Fool’s Day pranks are supposed to be creative, relevant, and, most importantly, harmless. For your pranking pleasure we’ve put together some simple guidelines to follow for executing the perfect brand hoax on social media.
Don’t – make fun of other brands or your customers. Doing so could result in damage to your own brand image.
Do – make fun of yourself in a way that also boosts your brand image.
Don’t – try to sell a real product or service. Pushing to hard for people to buy is a turn off, just have some fun.
Do – align your prank with a real trend and then take it to extreme heights.
Don’t – bring up sensitive topics. If you have to question whether the prank is appropriate or not, it probably isn’t, so don’t go through with it.
Do – think about legal precautions. Make sure the hoax won’t welcome a lawsuit.
In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, we’ve rounded up some posts from brands who celebrated the right way.
— MizMooz (@MizMooz) March 31, 2015
Miz Mooz takes their edgy shoe designs and the selfie craze to the next level with the Selfie Shoe.
Are you seeing a trend here? Petco took selfies a step further with selfie sticks for your pet.
Reddi-wip executed their prank while remaining true to their brand’s promise – a delicious dessert topping made with real cream.
— Betabrand (@Betabrand) April 1, 2015
Following the acquisition of Derp.com, Betabrand’s website features models with their best “derp” faces. Nicely done, Betabrand.
— Domino's Pizza UK (@Dominos_UK) April 1, 2015
In the midst of all the talk about who will be the first to get driverless cars on the road, Dominos decided to beat everyone to the punch with their new delivery “driver”.
The future’s here. Predict fender benders & more w/ Presurance™, our upcoming technological innovation: http://t.co/5IyuZiuHrT
— Esurance (@esurance) April 1, 2015
With a clever play on words, Esurance puts a creative spin on car insurance.
Opposite of all the futuristic pranks we’ve seen today, Microsoft decided to throw it back (ALL the way back to 1981) with the fake launch of MS-DOS as a mobile OS.
Drone delivery. Coming to a Jimmy John’s near you April 2015. pic.twitter.com/NaqzqDAFJU
— Jimmy John's (@jimmyjohns) March 31, 2015
As if Jimmy Johns wasn’t freaky fast enough, their hoax included a drone delivery service.
Lastly, we love how these two brands came together to execute the ultimate prank, Tinder for Uber and Uber for Tinder.
What were some of your favorite brand pranks to hit social media today?