April Fools is the perfect opportunity for brands to take to social media and unleash their creativity to create the best prank of the year. When done right, pranks allow brands to express their unique sense of humour and increase engagement with their audiences. But done badly and all hell breaks loose, with negative comments and even loss of trust in the brand.
In celebration of the prankvertising season, we’ve collected our 5 best and 5 worst April Fools pranks on social media.
THE BEST PRANKVERTISING
1. Broccoli-flavoured chocolate, Lindt (2016)
Kicking off our selection of the best April Fool’s pranks is Lindt. The iconic chocolate brand decided to fool everyone into thinking they had released an all-new line of broccoli-flavoured treats. This is the type of prank that’s harmless yet amusing enough to earn a chuckle, earning it a spot on our best pranks list.
2. KFC flavoured nail polish (2016)
KFC decided to jump on the bandwagon of creating wacky fake products when it launched its range of nail polishes, complete with three unique flavours to choose from. KFC went the extra mile with this prank, even creating video footage to launch the new range. We’re impressed!
3. Bacon Wrap, Primo Smallgoods (2017)
Primo Smallgoods wanted to make sure we’re all eating our daily dose of bacon with the Bacon Wrap. Prepare to toss away all those rolls of cling film and step into a bacon-filled future. We’re not sure how effective bacon would be at protecting our food, but we’re intrigued.
4. Petlexa, Amazon (2017)
Alexa…but for pets? That was the basic idea behind Amazon’s ‘Petlexa’. According to Amazon, Petlexa understands your pet’s woofs or meows and responds accordingly. Another fun, harmless prank that has made it onto our ‘Best’ list.
5. Limited Edition Snackbook, Kikki K (2021)
The Kikki K Snackbook was a secret place to stash your snacks – sneakily disguised as a regular notebook. We love the idea of being able to sneak your favourite treats anywhere without tipping anyone off. Many people commented that they could use this invention, and we agree!
THE WORST PRANKVERTISING
1. Voltswagen?, Volkswagen (2021)
Volkswagen made things confusing when they pranked their customers into thinking they were changing their name to “Voltswagen”. Unfortunately, this prank backfired when the change was reported by several major news outlets, who were unhappy when the truth came to light. That’s why this prank has landed a place on our worst list.
2. Krispy Kreme in a jar (2020)
If you’re a fan of the original Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut, you’ll be happy to know that you can buy the famous glaze by the jar. Well, unfortunately, this was just an April Fools stunt – and we’re a little sad about it.
3. ‘Drag and drop’, Qatar Airlines (2017)
Qatar Airlines came under heat when it seemed to make light of United Airlines violently dragging a passenger off a flight. Qatar jumped on the train by updating their app to include the statement that they ‘don’t support drag and drop’. Yikes!
4. Shake Dipping Sauce, McDonald’s (2019)
McDonald’s toyed with our hearts when they announced a new range of dipping sauces featuring all our favourite milkshake flavours – only for it all to be an April Fool’s prank. Ouch!
5. Duolingo Push, Duolingo (2019)
In 2019, Duolingo graced us with the announcement that a human-sized version of its mascot ‘Duo the Owl’ would show up at your house to remind you to practice. You could even choose from ‘Encouraging Duo’, ‘Disappointed Duo’, or ‘Passive Aggressive Duo’, depending on how dire your situation was. We love this method of keeping people on top of their language studies – and we’re disappointed it’s not real!
Which of these was your favourite, and which do you think missed the mark? Are there any memorable April Fools pranks of the past that still make you chuckle? We can’t wait to see what brands do next!