Like the ongoing presidential race, this year’s April Fools’ Day jokes from marketers hit on a number of hot topics, from employee benefits to marijuana. And, of course, some brands included puppies and kittens. Check out some of the pranks below that grabbed our attention. Be sure to mention any of your favorites that we might have missed in the Comments section.
Burger King France: Single Fries
Whoppers are filling, so rather than stuffing yourself to capacity with a large side of fries, Burger King France is introducing Single Fries — the first fries to be sold individually. The Single Fries are made to order and hand-wrapped by the fast-food chain’s staffers. But more importantly, the new product will discourage friends and family from ever asking if they can have one of your fries.
Quilted Northern: Rustic Weave Artisanal Toilet Paper
Quilted Northern has decided to leverage consumer desire for handcrafted products by introducing a new line of toilet paper called Rustic Weave. The new small-batch collection, created by hand from thinly sanded down planks of wood, flips around the brand’s recent campaign “Designed to Be Forgotten.” Rustic Weave artisanal toilet paper not only taps into consumers’ love of bespoke products, it aims to have people remember their bathroom experiences.
Blackjet: Cannabis Benefits Package
Retaining and attracting strong talent has never been more competitive, which is why Toronto-based creative agency Blackjet has decided to add a unique incentive to its benefits package: free marijuana. Once it is no longer a criminal offense in Ontario, the shop will begin offering staffers pot next to its beer fridge. The agency will also add new snack dispensers to the office. According to an agency statement: “While lots of research has described millennials as selfish, disconnected, unreliable job-hoppers that are hard to manage, Blackjet’s discovered the truth is, all they need is weed.”
Unleashed by Petco: Presidential Puppy and Kitty Podium
With the presidential race in full swing, Unleashed by Petco, the company’s smaller neighborhood shop, is helping its customers’ furry friends achieve their dreams with the launch of the Presidential Puppy Podium for a Puppy-in-Chief and Presidential Kitty Podium for America’s catstituents. On April 1, the brand’s customers will receive a newsletter advertising the one-day-only item, which will include a 30-second video and a “buy now” link that will reveal the prank on UnleashedbyPetco.com/PuppyPodium. While the podiums aren’t actually available to buy, the retailer will be giving 20% off coupons for those who were duped by the April Fools’ Day fun.
StarKist: Brad the Sawfish
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Say goodbye to StarKist’s iconic Charlie the Tuna spokes-fish. The mascot is retiring from his role after 55 years with the company. April 1 begins the reign of the brand’s new icon, Brad the Sawfish. Fans can find out more about Brad, who will replace a few images of Charlie on Starkist packaging, on www.starkist.com/bradthesawfish, as well as the brand’s social channels.
Gusto: Benefits for Office Dogs
Human resources software start-up Gusto, formerly ZenPayroll, is adding a new feature to its coverage options: payroll and benefits for part-time and full-time office dogs. Canines of all sizes will now have access to things like online accounts, workers’ comp and dental plans for the same price as humans. Gusto decided to include pups after receiving requests from its own office dog, Finnley. The Puppy Platform will initially roll out in California and Colorado, with plans to launch in all other states soon after. Additional features, such as doggie 401K plans and daycare, will also be included later in the year. Gusto is looking at opportunities to extend coverage to other animals — horse, fish and song birds. Although cat support has been in development for two years, the company is still seeking a successful user test with respectful feedback.
Progressive: Name Your Prank
Progressive is encouraging consumers to get in on the fun of April Fools’ Day by pranking their friends and family with the brand’s newly launched NameYourPrank.com website. The site, which plays off of Progressive’s “Name Your Price” tool, allows users to create a fake news story to be featured in or connect with their own Facebook page. Progressive also has its own fake stories cued up for the day, so be on the lookout for items about cat-talking software or an aroma-based social media site
Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum: Innovations
Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum is bringing a bit of trivia into the April Fools’ mix by revealing three wacky product “innovations,” two of which are actually real. The spirits company, named after Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, who was always up for a joke, is encouraging fans to visit the brand’s Facebook page to guess which item is fake. The answer will be revealed on April 2.
Car-sharing company Zipcar is now using its proprietary selfie-analyzing technology to match vehicles based on members’ photos. All a member has to do is take a selfie before booking a car and based on the analysis from Zipcar’s exclusive algorithm, the company will find the best vehicle for the person’s mood and preferences. For example, if a member is stressed out, Zipcar will assign a comfy car, or if a member is having a bad hair day, a car with tinted windows will be recommended.
ThinkGeek: April Fools’ Day Products
Every April Fools’ Day, ThinkGeek looks to prank its fans by incorporating ridiculous products on its site. This year, the company has nine gag items, which include the likes of a Flavor of the Day Desktop Calendar with lickable pages, the Star Trek White Noise Sleep Machine and a SpaceX Vertical Landing Mentos & Diet Coke Rocket.