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12 Ingenious April Fool’s Marketing Ideas to Set Customers Laughing

Here is a real-world12 hilarious (and a trifle weird) April Fool's day marketing ideas are inside. Would you go for some of them?

Written by Olesia Melnichenko

12 Ingenious April Fool’s Marketing Ideas to Set Customers Laughing

We all need a reason to smile right now. Even though it’s neither Christmas nor Halloween, it’s still an excellent time to have fun. April Fool’s Day is coming! So, you’d better start thinking of practical jokes already.

The upcoming Laughter Day offers businesses the prime opportunity to generate awareness and engagement with hoaxes and original mischief. It’s like using the creativity and direct impact of content marketing on Black Friday software sales – has to be done.

Want to be in the loop this year and pull it off? Various examples of April Fool’s marketing ideas from globally-known brands are on the table today. Get ready to be inspired and laugh your head off!

We've also prepared 126 unique messages and slogans for Halloween, Black Friday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and April Fool's Day 😉 Interested? 

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12 witty April Fool’s marketing ideas

Love it or hate, the 500-year tradition of pulling someone’s leg will carry on. In a business niche as well. But you should REALLY walk on eggshells here. Any joke will fall flat if it doesn’t hit a chord with your audience. That’s why I provide you with these comic April Fool’s Day marketing ideas many brands have brought. Enjoy! 🤡

1. Play the fool wisely

April Fool's Day marketing campaign by HelpCrunch

Not every business risks its reputation and mocks itself. A good sense of humor, self-deprecation, and an excellent imagination are synonymous with wise marketer. Thus, consider the following April Fool’s marketing endeavor.

We at HelpCrunch know how to cheer you up on April 1st and show ourselves in a more fun light. In 2021 our marketing team crafted this rib-tickler, cool, and absolutely one-of-a-kind alternative April Fool’s Day homepage. Yes, we can laugh at ourselves in a professional and quick-witted manner 🤣

Let me walk you through the main name of the game.

Every business strives to be serious-minded and rather formal. Marketing tries to highlight that the product or service is unique and just…perfect. But here’s a twist: an ideal product does not exist.

That’s why we decided to tell visitors about our downsides upfront and honestly, exaggerate them, and laugh. We may not be ideal, though we’re sincere and funny. Hopefully, customers appreciated our sense of humor.

We’ve spent 5 years building this platform…It’s still not even close to what we’ve imagined.” – this is where the pun is totally intended. The team modified the content throughout the page in keeping with the best April Fools’ Day marketing traditions. For instance, the CTA “Start a 14-day free trial” was changed to “Sign up and live dangerously,” and the hero section had team’s witty quotes.

If you consider it not a bad idea and want to implement it with your brand, make sure you know exactly where the sweet spot is. Do as we did.

2. Announce a fake product

April Fool’s fun ideas are impossible to imagine without the one from McDonald’s. These guys are real tricksters when it comes to this holiday.

McDonald’s clearly understands its target audience. The fast-food chain introduced special “Sauce pots” several years ago. These were mini milkshakes for those who like dipping their fries in something sweet. Which flavor would you go for: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, or banana? I, for one, am a vanilla type 🍟

As it turned out, the brand was just messing with us.

Say what you will, this is an unconventional approach, indeed. Replacing traditional condiments such as ketchup, BBQ sauce, mayonnaise, and mustard is a killer April Fool’s Day sale example. Besides, this is a great loyalty and retention strategy pattern during the holiday season.

3. Use customer behavior humorously

Most of you are music addicts, that’s for sure. Come to think of it, my Spotify playlist is a patchwork of such genres as pop, techno, indie-pop, Latino sounds, and whatnot. By the way, this audio service provider nailed humor marketing in 2018.

As part of their end-of-year campaign, Spotify created ads that poked fun at its users’ playlists based on listeners’ data. For instance, there was “I love gingers” with almost 50 Ed Sheeran’s songs and a compilation of songs, including “Sorry” on Valentine’s Day.

One way to utilize a brand’s website marketing tools in a fun way. Spotify highlighted that companies can handle their customers’ data more joyously. And it doesn’t have to look like an intrusion. This can actually be a wise April Fool’s Day sale move.

Spotify 2018Wrapped
Spotify Wrapped2018

4. Create actual game activities 

Google’s reputation as a kidder is known far and wide. I personally laughed at Google Nose, a made-up addition to Search. However, the corporation also celebrates April Fools without pranking too much. 

In 2019, they launched the 90s-tribute Snake game powered by Google Maps. Except that the snake is a train. The game lets people travel across the world 🌍 There are cities like Cairo, San Francisco, London, and others. 

Do you remember Where’s Wally? British series of puzzle books? Well, Google took the cake with it as well. Their April Fool’s day marketing extravaganza featured Where’s Waldo? (used in North America) game in 2018. 

All it takes is asking the Google Assistant “Where’s Waldo?” and it will not only suggest looking for him in Google Maps but also remind you to update your app. 

Where's Waldo Google game

5. Push the boundaries

Who says that February is the only month designed for Valentine’s Day slogans and love per se? Build-A-Bear, an American online shop that sells stuffed teddy bears and other toys, thought outside the box and announced its own Build-A-Bear dating app on trickster day (spoiler: no, it’s not real).

The point of this initiative is out in the open: to add more love to life, connect real people to each other, and encourage them to share and express their love. The proprietary matchmaking algrrrrithm (you get it, right? 😅) analyzes your True Heart profile, tells your soulmate’s expectations, and you’re all set to meet a special someone during the Heart Ceremony.

This is my personal TOP in the best April Fool’s marketing list. The cleverest thing about such an initiative is that you can receive the company’s Bonus Club perks, earn points, and get exclusive early access to the hottest products, staying updated on the app.

Build-A-Bear has practically jumped on the hype train. Online matchmaking applications are on the rise nowadays. Let alone it’s an excellent opportunity for upselling and cross-selling, mixing business with pleasure. If it’s not the customer-first approach, then what IS that? Hats off 🎩

6. Make an engagement buzz

April Fool’s marketing might be a good ground for a funny digital customer engagement strategy.

Judge by yourself, dozens of social media shares, and highly engaged clients kicking around your product or service. Definitely a pro point!

Nintendo of America created a Twitter poll asking users what character they would like to prank.

The point is that the poll is fake, with only one possible option. Once you’re on the corresponding page, it says, “Joke’s on you! April Fool’s Day is the trickiest day of the year. Silly pranks can be a lot of fun!“.

It should seem small, though it appeared to be the most engaging post for the company in 2018.

7. Add new comic product features

April 1st is the chance to show off your sense of humor, and your product or service may offer an advanced feature set, as Honda Canada did.

The car corporation introduced its April Fool’s promotion idea called “Polite Horn” 2019. It’s not only hilarious but also really useful!

Imagine: the sun is shining, and you’re driving your brand new Honda, and bam! Some wrecks stop at a green light. Here is when you can be a bit passive-aggressive and express what’s on your mind politely. The nerves are in order, and the mood hasn’t changed. I wish this feature was true. Ahem ahem!

8. Introduce a one-day-only offer

I bet you binge-watch your favorite TV show when you have idle time. The same here! ✋ But I have a confession to make. It’s sometimes a bit hard to catch certain words due to the intricacies of pronunciation.

BritBox, a service that streams British shows for international audiences, once launched a really helpful April Fool’s marketing initiative – Interp-Brit – for those like me that was available for only one day. And it was a big win!

The concept made accent comprehension a lot easier to understand. It dubbed American voices on top of famous British TV programs. I mean, how cool is that?!

One might wonder if this was supposed to be just an April 1st leg-pull. But these guys have killed two birds with one stone: they put a new face on the already familiar product, unleashing its full potential and making customers happy, seizing much bigger audiences. And you know what? BritBox heard what people said out there and turned this ground-breaking joke into a permanent feature!

P.S. I personally couldn’t imagine Colin Firth talking with a Brooklyn accent in Pride and Prejudice 😅

9. Consider brand reinforcement

If you have no April Fool’s Day sales coming and nothing to say to your clients, ensure your business stays fresh in their memories. For that, use brand reinforcement magic. And broadcast emailing if need be.

Sony crafted a “Mark Your Calendar” newsletter email campaign to give their subscribers information about all the important events for the month. They also included some of their products in the piece shrewdly.

As for me, this isn’t the worst-case scenario for National Prankster Day. Quite the opposite: you give a friendly reminder about your brand and offer relative products casually.

Sony "Mark your calendar" newsletter

10. Be weird

“Does your favorite goldfish display signs of aggression when you leave for work?” says the Amazon ludicrous landing page dedicated to the April Fool’s Day sale. Audible for Fish – this is the name of this funny audiobook collection.

You see, anytime you’re leaving, your pet may feel lonely. This queer product can help you ease their condition. Just have your George the Fish listen to a 3-second melody. The sought-after soothing effect is around the corner.

Well, the whole nonsense of the situation makes me laugh, just like customer service memes do 😅 Amazon is definitely a pro in promoting bizarre gags. Maybe you need to think of something just like that for your business?

Audible for fish Amazon

11. Make a prank out of this world

The Israeli at-home water carbonation company SodaStream featured an American astronaut, Scott Kelly, in its April Fools advertising campaign. They addressed a well-known problem for all mankind (both on Earth and in space): excessive bodily gasses. And don’t say you’ve never wanted to fart or burp amid an exceptionally important meeting or event 😂.

SodaStream came up with a solution, the newest innovation that turns people’s excess gasses into fizzy water on the go.

How does it “work”? First, you attach the device to the company’s water bottles and then just blow into it. The CO2 from the person’s breath converts regular water into sparkling water thanks to a special mechanism.

“When life gives you gas, make soda water,” Scott Kelly says in the video.

Trying to solve a farting problem is ridiculous in itself. Btw, would you buy such a device?

12. Be absurd if you wish

Do you like the taste of Burger King’s Whopper in your mouth? If yes, the French division of the company has great news for you! They invented a Whopper-flavored toothpaste for real fans.

Its flame-grilled micro granules are enriched with the same taste as your favorite burger. Onion is for whitening, tomato for freshness, steak for anticavity. This super innovative Whopper technology keeps your mouth Whopper fresh 🍔

Even though Burger King clearly clues audiences that this ad is a joke, the idea works great. Absurd can also be funny. Don’t trust me? Then try to watch the video without smiling at least once!

How to use HelpCrunch in the April Fool’s Day marketing campaign

HelpCrunch, your trusted multichannel customer service platform, and marketing tools can be the perfect accomplice in orchestrating a lighthearted April Fool’s Day real-time marketing campaign. Connect with clients on a more personal level.

  • Witty chatbot responses: Spice up your chatbot responses with a touch of humor. Create playful interactions that align with your brand’s personality, giving your customers a chuckle.
  • Surprise auto-responses: Set up unexpected auto-responses that keep the conversation engaging and entertaining.
  • Quirky pop-up тotifications: Use HelpCrunch’s pop-up notification feature to show visitors quirky messages and add a dash of fun to your customer interactions.
  • Emoji overdrive: Encourage your support team to use emojis in their responses liberally.
  • Customizable chat widget: Add some funny graphics or change the color scheme to match the theme. It’s a subtle yet effective way to signal that your brand knows how to have a good time.

Shall we laugh?

Laughter is the best medicine. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to let go of the sadness and let yourself smile. Hopefully, our April Fool’s Day sales japes made you at least giggle today!

A word to the wise: when planning your activities during the week of merriment, study your audience carefully so that everything goes without a hitch. In the worst-case scenario, the joke’s on you. Happy April Fools, everyone!

Olesia Melnichenko
Olesia was born in Donetsk, Ukraine. She's been a proud HelpCrunch content writer for three years. Her experience encompasses positions like an SEO copywriter, a marketing specialist, and a customer support assistant to a flight booking platform. Olesia's portfolio includes dozens of articles on customer service, marketing, and sales both for the HelpCrunch blog and other niche-related online resources. Now, she is a self-learning Spanish student who never misses out on the opportunity to replenish her vocab in three languages (English, German, and Spanish).
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