April Foolish Marketing

April 1, 2010

I’m always giddy to see what companies come up with for April Fool’s jokes. Google’s annual April Fool’s Day prank is historically solid. A few of my favorites were Adsense for Conversations used to display ads in an obtrusive screen above your head, Gmail Autopilot for automatically responding to your emails and the Pigeon-based ranking system where site search results were based on the pecking of trained pigeons. Even the Gmail Toilet one was pretty funny.

The day brings some good viral marketing opportunities to some brands. Others can’t really afford to try and make a splash, or risk of backlash from constituents – like when Clear Channel wasn’t exactly on the same page as the radio host when it was announced that “The Howard Stern Show” had been cancelled. But those brands that have advocates that are all right with something silly from them should be able to have a heyday this year. Similar to last year when The Guardian announced that they would only publish their news on Twitter, I expect many pranks involving new media and likely the check-in sites.

Considering that more and more real things happen these days that could’ve passed as April Fool’s Day gags not so long ago, this year’s batch could be the best yet. Consider reading “New site created that alerts burglars that you aren’t home when using a service that use upon arriving everywhere you go.” It’s called Please Rob Me. How about “A woman that dresses so strange that she can be compared to Wilson the volleyball from “Cast Away” surpasses one billion views online and is a global phenom.” Meet Lady Gaga. “Advertising has taken over so much that when you make a typo on a social bookmarking site, ads are targeted at you.” Just Burger King’s latest idea on Digg. Michael Bay is re-making “Rosemary’s Baby.” True Story. Sadly. Pretty much all the content you see on AdFreak most days. So with us getting our yuks from news and marketing everyday, it’ll be exciting to see what’s in store for us this year. Any that you have thought of that seem like great ideas?