It’s April and that means it’s April Fools’ time. Celebrated on April 1st, April Fools’ Day has been a long-standing holiday that is celebrated by playing pranks, tricks, and sending people on fools’ errands. Some get very elaborate and take great planning. Even the news media and major business companies will get in on the fun with April Fools’ promotions. You can use the unofficial holiday as a way to drive more traffic to your website while giving your brand a boost. Take advantage of this time to show your business’s playful side. These five companies got into the spirit of April Fools’ and showed great marketing.
In 2017 Leadpages decided that April Fools’ is more fun when the whole team is involved. They came up with a marketing gem: Kidpages. Designed as a joke, Leadpages created a landing page offering the fake product and even included a few of the team member’s kids in the marketing video. This supposed product offered a landing page creation software for kids as an alternative income generation tool instead of the traditional allowance or lemonade stands. With a hilarious features list including a crayon-powered page builder, a whine-activated user interface, a multi-device compatibility ranging from My First Laptop to Etch-a-Sketch, and a “How Good Is It” report to show kids their marketing performance.
This marketing idea was a team effort and generated a HUGE boost in traffic to their website as people had to see the kid-driven landing page service. Regular marketing takes a whole team to accomplish and so does a spoof driven marketing. Get your whole team behind you and create a fun and outrageous “product” to capture the consumer’s attention. It needs to be outrageous so that people will understand there is no such product. It makes them need to see it to believe it, bringing them to your site for a good laugh and then they are more likely to stay and browse your real products.
The well-known travel website Expedia had even gotten in on the fun of April Fools. They took advantage of the absurd and offered a travel discount on a vacation trip to, drumroll please, MARS! In a brilliant piece of marketing, hundreds of people flocked to the site to see the offered trip to Mars and read its amazing itinerary. They used their own marketing language and offered “No Interplanetary Booking Fees!” as well as suggesting hotels for a savings of over $3 trillion dollars for a limited-time sale for the entire planet Earth.
Crazy, insane ideas will bring not only a good laugh but will draw a lot of attention as well. People love the absurd and will share the idea because it’s too good not too. Don’t limit your marketing ideas. In this case, the sky is certainly not the limit as Expedia offers a chance to go beyond the sky in a once in a lifetime trip. Your cray ad doesn’t have to be belly laugh funny, being impossible goes a long way too.
In 2016 Hamburger Helper took the internet by storm by coming out with a mixtape called “Watch The Stove.” The hilarious album included artists like GenReal, Bobby Raps, Retro Specto, Daniel Davis, DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip, and DEQUEXATRON Xooo. The company team asked them to create a song about Hamburger Helper and the artists ran with it. The album got over 400,000,000 social media shares and was played over 4,000,000 plays on SoundCloud, making the album a huge hit. The company didn’t expect the album to go viral but needless to say this turned into marketing gold. While the mixtape wasn’t exactly put out a joke, the silliness of it captured the nation, making Hamburger Helper the talk of the town.
2016 seemed to be the year for April Fools’ marketing stunts. National Geographic released a Tweet and short article that they would stop degrading animals by showing nude animal photos. This took Twitter by storm as it was retweeted and shared by many Twitter subscribers. This was nothing short of genius as although the post was obviously nonsensical, it got people talking. This marketing idea made National Geographic the thing everyone was talking about. Don’t create fake news, instead create news that is relevant to your brand and watch your social shares and website visits skyrocket.
Bloomingdale’s is known for its high-end products and it’s high-end April Fools’ product was no different. With the introduction of Bloomingdale’s Forty Carrots fragrance, this amazing and fake product was a large endeavor. Releasing a real product can be a involved process and for Bloomingdale’s, it was worth going the extra mile to release they fake but entertaining product. They built an entire marketing campaign to drive consumers to their eCommerce site, driving up sales. This elaborate campaign became a marketing industry legend with how far they went with setting up a fake product.
April Fools’ marketing doesn’t have to be as elaborate as these companies made them. It just needs to create a humorous note that will drive traffic to your website. Take the month of April and show consumers that you can make fun of yourself and that your brand is confident in its sales. Give them a good laugh and make your brand the one they talk about.