5 April Fools’ Promotion Ideas for Your Online Business
Let the pranks begin!
It’s that time of year again. April Fools’ Day is the moment to give your brand a playful attitude, while driving traffic to your business website.
“Marketers are typically a creative bunch who spend much of their time finding ways to position products or services to their audience, so why not take advantage of April Fools’ Day to not only have a little bit of fun, but to draw attention by making others see a not-so-serious side of the brands we represent?” writes Michael Ellis, marketing and public relations consultant.
Do something different this year. Check out these five examples for your April Fools’ promotion ideas.
April Fools’ Day is a celebration of jokes. And as an adult, it’s one of the few times in the year where you can be a kid again.
With that childlike spirit, your team can create hilarious pranks on your consumers. One approach is to use your imagination. The challenge is to not only think outside the box, but also to dream up an entirely new box.
So, don’t limit your ideas to something practical. You can completely develop a new universe, like the comic books. The unbelievable is ripe for a good laugh.
The Expedia team accomplished to do just that. With the ongoing talk of space travel, this traveling site thought it would be fun to create flights to—you guessed it—Mars!
Expedia spoofed their own promo language, using “No Interplanetary Booking Fees!” The details of the eye-catching prank also included hotels on Mars, savings over $3 trillion dollars, and a limited-time sale for the entire Earth.
Your team can take a similar route. Experiment with ideas in science fiction movies or combine two unlikely subjects into one crazy product.
It’s not always about being laughing-on-the-floor funny. Crafting up the impossible also makes for good consumer amusement.
Launching a new product is a huge endeavor. Your team coordinates with marketing, sales, and product to execute a flawless campaign.
And it makes sense! You’re putting in the work to get more customers. Elliot Volkman, a digital marketing manager at Blue Acorn, provides his perspective:
“Beyond optimization tactics and amazing designs, one of the most effective ways to drive customers to buy from an eCommerce site is through marketing campaigns. From personalized emails to connecting social media posts with a specific holiday, brands can enter organic conversations that their customers are already having.”
This same technique is useful for your April Fools’ prank, too. If time permits, you can develop a new product along with its own marketing campaign.
Yes, I mean the works! Be audacious with fake press releases, customer testimonials, and online advertisements.
Bloomingdale’s accepted this challenge by developing three fake fragrances. The retailer took it a step further with an actual video. And of course, their team posted the video ad on Facebook where it received 38,000 views.
Do what you do best. Launch a product from scratch and build a campaign around it. For this April Fools’ Day, your business can drive engagement with your fake products.
The trickery of this day isn’t fun if you’re doing it alone. When pranking your customers, you can up the ante by getting the entire team involved.
Do you remember slumber parties as a kid? Everyone dreaded being the first one to fall asleep. If you dozed off, your friends would put toothpaste on your face or spray silly string all over your body.
It was hysterical because it was a group effort. The sleepy person wore it as a badge of honor, too.
Work with your team to build the ultimate prank for your customers. Pool talent from each department to create a comical treat. That way, it’s not just marketing stuck with developing and producing the joke.
In 2017, Leadpages achieved a skillful April Fools’ Day promotion. They created a landing page with a video introducing a fake product. The software company used assets from multiple departments. Plus, they added team member’s kids!
Participation from your entire team makes the prank fun for your staff as well as your customers. Don’t leave anyone out of the April Fools’ enjoyment.
4. Hamburger Helper
Some of the best pranks aren’t about tricking your customers. Instead, try spotlighting the foolishness within your brand.
Comedians are masters at performing self-deprecating jokes. They might talk about their weight gain or emphasize their large nose.
Making fun of your weaknesses lets customers know you’re aware of your problems. It also makes your brand appear more human.
But don’t fall into the trap of misleading your customers. You’re not in the business of defrauding your audience on April Fools’ Day. Rather, you want to entertain them:
“Your goal for April Fools’ is to prank and entertain people, not deceive them. So whatever your plans are, make sure that those who experience your prank would “get” the joke. The humorous aspect of your April Fools’ campaign must be obvious and transparent,” states Francesca Nicasio, Vend’s retail expert and content strategist.
You might have to go beyond your comfort zone. For instance, if you sell one-of-a-kind art sculptures, why not try being a sculptor for a day? Posting your funny works of art will make consumers laugh. Someone may even purchase one!
The Hamburger Helper brand dropped a mixtape titled Watch the Stove on April Fools’ Day. The catchy beats and funny lyrics had consumers in awe.
How can your team step out of its comfort zone? What will get consumers laughing at and with you? That’s a good starting point for creating an epic promotion idea.
5. National Geographic
The media’s role continues to evolve in consumers’ lives. A few decades ago, people trusted news stations to deliver credible information.
Nowadays, it’s hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake. Consumers second-guess everything from the weather to groundbreaking inventions.
So this upcoming April Fools’ Day, you may veer away from spreading any fake news. As an alternative, you can focus on distributing funny news.
It doesn’t have to be anything too outlandish. It can be something nonsensical. Look at the National Geographic example below. On social media, the cable network announced that they would stop publishing nude animal photos.
Also, don’t execute on poorly planned promotion ideas. Give your team the time and resources to do it right. Jean-Philippe Maltais, president of Wakonda Marketing, gives the following advice:
“Plan early so that all the elements are in place on the big day. Planning is the key to executing your elaborate joke successfully. Make sure your post has the right social sharing buttons so it’s easy for your audience to share your content online.”
If you can, avoid fake news. Take another path with funny news that relates to your brand.
Celebrate with Jokes
Everyone deserves a little laughter. This April Fools’ Day, your brand can bring the giggles and the smiles to your consumers.
Make an outrageous, fake product no one could believe. Invest in your prank with a full-blown video advertisement. Or publicize a funny breaking news story.
Be silly. Add humor to your marketing.
Shayla Price creates and promotes content. She lives at the intersection of digital marketing, technology, and social responsibility. Originally from Louisiana, Shayla champions access to remote work opportunities. Connect with her on Twitter at @shaylaprice.