Some companies try it, and totally wipe out, but a good April Fool’s joke can help promote goodwill towards your business. As long it’s put forth with good intentions, and doesn’t hurt anyone, it can be great PR. Here are five businesses that got it right.
If you’re a video gamer, then you know about video game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly, and its annual April Fool’s joke. They were so famous at one time that gamers around the world debated what was a joke and what wasn’t each April. The most famous was in 1992, when they had everyone convinced there was a super hidden character in the arcade game Street Fighter 2. Gamers finally caught on to the prank and began a tradition of scouring the magazine every year for what they would pull next.
2. Burger King
Do you love burgers but are constantly beguiled by the obvious right-handed bias in most fast food? Burger King thought that enough people fit into this category to make their Left Handed Whopper. It had everything the regular, right-handed version did, but the condiments were rotated 180 degrees.
Of course, it was just a goof. However, it also resulted in brisk sales, and not just from curious southpaws. Many right-handed burger lovers traveled to the fast food emporium to request a righty version of the Left Handed Whopper!
Another company that needs to fool folks every year is Google. From MentalPlex, which is a way of searching with the power of your mind, to Google Gulp, an invite only soft drink, the company has put out some real whoppers.
The search engine corporation has always had a sense of humor about itself, and it shows through in its hoaxes. Google users love them for it, and expect the jokes for years to come.
4. Taco Bell
In 1996, Taco Bell took out an ad in the New York Times announcing they had purchased the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. They said it was to reduce the country’s debt, but they had one change to make – they were going to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell!
Naturally, people were in an uproar. Eventually, though, it came out as a hoax. The real levity of the situation was shown when White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the sale. He replied that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would be renamed the Lincoln Mercury Memorial!
Youtube is another site that loves to pull pranks. Their hoaxes are more recent, though, so in 2008 everyone was taken by surprise when every single video on their main page linked to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. Yes, they had Rick Roll’d their fanbase!
With the fight between YouTube and other video websites, things like their April Fool’s jokes might have given them a real edge. Ever since 2008 they’ve participated in various jokes, and fans eagerly await this year’s goof!
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Writing Powerful Press Releases here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/beginnersguide.html