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5 marketing ideas for your April Fools’ Day campaign

Updated: Mar 30


April Fools Day Marketing Tips

Pranking your customers may sometimes feel like a line that you shouldn’t cross, but there’s one day in the year when that line is blurred—April Fools’ Day. This is the day that most brands utilise to prank their customers in the name of good humour. It gives you a great opportunity to engage with your customers and show them a different side of your brand’s personality that is more playful and fun.


Still, when thinking up your April Fools’ Day campaign, you should exercise some caution. It’s better to walk on eggshells than to come up with jokes that fall flat and fail to resonate with your audience. That doesn’t mean you should limit yourself, it’s more about finding that sweet spot of funny, engaging and on-brand content.


If you’re stumped on where to start, we’ve got some ideas for you that have proved to be a hit!


1. ‘Make’ and market a fake product


In most cases, this is a guaranteed winner. Use April Fools’ Day to announce you're launching a new crazy product or service that will leave your audience baffled. You can put in some effort to sell the joke by creating a fake product page or video.


The biggest Kenya beer brand left people cracking up when they announced they would start selling a non-alcoholic lager, Tusker Sufuri. Though fans were quick to catch on, it was still quite a fun and interesting way to engage their audience.


2. Leverage customer behaviour humorously


Successful brand pranks know how to connect to their audience, you want to use humour that can make use of relatability. You can achieve this by picking some of your customers’ behaviours and turning them into jokes.


Friends of Karura nailed it last year when they tried to suggest to their audience that monkeys were now imitating humans by wearing discarded masks in the forest.


3. Create an unbelievable discount, literally unbelievable


Another great way to leverage April Fools is by giving your customers a discount that’s just too good to be true. You have to be careful here because you don’t want to make your customers feel duped.


One way to do this is by making giving a huge discount that seems too far-fetched but comes with terms and conditions. For example, 10% off on all drinks for customers called John.


Jambojet left fans sceptical when they announced they were selling tickets for KES 50 to celebrate their fifth anniversary. Many people assumed it was just a joke and nothing more, but some were able to cash in on this once-in-a-lifetime deal!


4. A little absurdity doesn’t hurt


Sometimes humour works best in the most outlandish of situations. Even though absurd jokes can be a little obvious, it doesn’t make them any less funny. Try getting a laugh from your audience by making products or announcements that would normally never work for your brand.


Basco Paints got their audience by announcing their new product, Duracoat Total Whitening Toothpaste. I guess toothpaste can be considered paint for your teeth?


5. Make it interactive, it’s not all about the jokes


There’s so much you can do on April Fools besides using humour. Creating games or interactive content is another way to get traction and engagement from your audience.


Google’s well known for their great April Fools Day campaigns and their 2019’s was no exception—they created a 90’-tribute of snake game powered by Google Maps. The game lets you travel across the globe, but the snake is a train.


You might not have big budgets like Google to execute campaigns at such a scale, but interactive content can be developed almost anywhere. Try out some of the available tools on social media such as quizzes and polls and work your way up from there.


 

Humour in marketing can help you achieve so much more than just sales.


It helps your customers have a sense of familiarity with your brand, they want to connect on an emotional level, not just out of commercial necessity. Use April Fools’ Day as an opportunity to unearth positive emotions from your customers in a way they’ll always instinctively associate that positivity with your brand.


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