Zappy April Fools Day!

If you have woken up to cling film over your toilet or a bucket of flour over your door this morning then there is a good chance it’s April 1st! April fools day is an excellent time for companies to take a chance and venture into a “humorous” marketing campaign. In addition, this day is a great opportunity to expand your brand audience and encourage sales. Whilst April 1st might be predictable to some, this blog post contains are our favourite campaigns over recent years that might give you some inspiration for April Fools Day antics in the future!

April fools day is a great way to remind your customers of your brand’s existence and create content which gets people talking! Click here to read our article on viral marketing 

Check out how big brands get the most of April Fool’s Day marketing


1. PayPal

Do you remember PayPal’s joke in 2018? PayPal posted a tweet saying that you can now print money directly from your phone. The feature was supposed to be launched on the PayPal app. 

This got consumers thinking “wait? This is actually a really good idea!”. This campaign was extremely thought provoking however even with the advancements in technology, that is not possible… yet! PayPal was good at making the joke, and at the same time, increased brand awareness and promoting their new app. Click here to see the campaign.


2. Google Play

Google loves to prank their audience during April Fools however in 2020 and 2021 they cancelled their plans due to COVID-19.  Our favourite campaign from Google was in 2017 when they announced Google Play specifically for pets. This would feature a new category of games, apps and training tools for pets. Is that such a bad idea though? We can definitely see this becoming a thing in the future! What do you think? Click here to see the campaign.


3. Scotland Football Kit Euros 2020 


Scotland fans fell in love with Irn bru and Tunnocks April fool kits for the 2020 Euros and actually wanted to buy them! This April fool had such a positive response when that people actually wanted to buy them. Al Johnstone said: “Don’t even care if it’s an April fools. Get them made.” The eye catching designs certainly sparked interest in fans and was a great way for Irn Bru and Tunnocks to show their sense of humour and support of the 2002 Euros team. Click here to see the campaign. 


4. McDonald’s 

Have you ever wanted your own face on a burger? Well in 2018 McDonald’s made consumers think that was finally possible and introduced #MyBigMac. The company offered to take a selfie right on the Big Mac bun or even a marriage proposal! How romantic!

McDonald’s released a video showing how this can be done (actually not). All that’s required is you: 

  • Take a selfie using their  app or use a kiosk in the restaurant to do it.
  • Then once your seeds have finished designing your selfie, your burger will be available at the counter.
  • Then there’s a social media plugin allowing you to share your creation on Instagram etc

Click here to see the campaign.


5. Coca-Cola

Remember the 2018 April Fool from Coca- Cola? They launched 3 new flavours to appeal to the “Instagram generation” which featured: avocado, sourdough, and charcoal.



As per Coca-Cola, “Not only do they promise to be the perfect tasty, sugar-free refreshment, but they’ll also double-up as the ideal accessory for any brunch time social media photo – guaranteed to see the ‘likes’ rolling in.” By doing this, Coca – Cola are showing that they know the behaviours of their younger audience and understanding something that will make them laugh. People love to share their Sunday brunch pictures on Instagram and this drink would be the perfect accompaniment! Click here to see the campaign.

6. Tinder 

Have you ever been on a date and the person you are meeting was a lot shorter than you thought? To solve this issue, the dating app Tinder offered a new feature – Tinder Height Verification. The aim of this feature was to make sure make sure people didn’t lie about their height on their dating platform. Tinder showcases that they know their female audience and their preference in a potential date. Statistics say that only 14.5% of men are 6 feet tall or taller in the USA, so soon, the number of people claiming to be 6ft or over was to drop. 

We love that this campaign was funny but it also got people talking about the wider picture which is pretending to be someone or something you’re not online. Be who you are and be true to you! Don’t be a catfish! This is a great way to humour your audience and stick to your brands mission. Click here to see the campaign 

7. Duolingo

Duolingo is infamous for its persistent push notifications and encouraging its users to hop on the app to learn new words and phrases in another language. In Duolingo’s 2019 April Fools prank, they took the training that one step further. The duolingo mascot was featured in its users real life, demanding to continue training. Nightmare or the motivation you need? Click here to see the campaign 


8. Burger King

In 2017, Burger King and Buzzman agency collaborated on this April fools day prank which featured the release of a new Whopper – flavoured toothpaste! Not only is the toothpaste beneficial for your teeth, it also leaves you with the delicious taste of Burger King’s Whopper. 

“You won’t have to hesitate between enjoying a Whopper and brushing your teeth ever again.”  Check out the hilarious video here.


9. McDonalds (again!)

Have you ever dipped your chips into your milkshake? If you are someone who loves the salty – sweet combo you’d love the thought of Mcdonalds launching mini sauce pots in the flavour of their milkshakes. Sad news, it was all just a prank!  Got an idea for a kind of wacky product? Maybe use April Fools’ Day to test the waters and gauge reaction!  


10. Smoup

Ever heard of Smoup? Well now you have! Smoup is the result of Heinz and Innocent collaborating their two most famous products to create a brand new product!

So what is smoup?

Great question! Heinz tomato soup and Innocent’s strawberry and banana smoothie. Standard combo right?  

Anna Clare, Innocent’s head of good ideas, said: “Liquid fruit plus liquid veg? It’s liquid gold. Drink it hot, drink it cold, drink it with a spoon, dip bread in it…”  Well that certainly is food for thought! Click here to see the campaign 


April Fool’s Day Marketing Recommendations

  • Know your audience sense of humour and mentality. What is hilarious for one audience is completely irrelevant to another audience
  • Take into consideration what your audience is already saying about your product/service or brand – this will help you resonate with your audience and be relatable to them. 
  • Avoid jokes about political, religious, or social issues to avoid causing offence and a bad reputation. 
  • Remember to talk about the specifics of your product! If your joke has nothing to do with the company’s activities, then what is the point of the campaign. 
  • Keep it lighthearted and fun!

Final thoughts

Keep your eyes peeled this year for all of the April Fools campaigns from your favourite companies! April Fool’s Day marketing is an excellent opportunity to promote brand awareness, attract attention to business. April Fools Day jokes are a great way to create content with a viral effect and attract your target audience. But do not forget that this is a rather risky tool. The success of the April Fool’s marketing campaign depends only on you and your ability to find the right topic.



Bethanie Reid


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