1st April 2015: It’s good to see tech brands fooling around

Dan Odutola rounds up the best April Fools' Day pranks from the technology world and more.

We love a good April Fools’ Day PR prank at H+K TechLabs. In fact, we’re such fools for a good April Fool that we’ve put together a list of the best prank stories that caught our eye this year.

For us, the clear winner of this year’s “Best April Fools’ Day story” prize goes to Google. We saw not one, but two, great efforts from Google – the first involved building a backwards Google search engine. The search giant is famed for its quirky adaptations of the infamous logo, but turning the entire interface on its head presented even the most avid ‘Googlers’ with a confusing obstacle. 

 

 

Google’s second April Fools’ home run, particularly close to the tech geek’s heart, was Pac Man invading Google Maps. This fantastic procrastination tool not only kept us busy, but also meant that the lost millions walking around with their faces buried in Google Maps as they stumble through life were now not just lost; they were lost in a good game of Pac Man!

 

Of course, the less foolish of you will know that this is a bit of a throwback to last year’s annual Google gag: the Google Maps Pokémon challenge. This was a huge highlight of April Fools’ Day 2014 and even brought out the competitive side of some people!

“Immersion” is a real buzz word in the tech community right now (see our recent blog on immersive reality) and PlayStation has announced a new piece of wearable technology that amused us all. PlayStation Flow is supposedly designed to bring in-game underwater experiences to life by allowing committed gamers to pause their game, head to their local swimming pool and become immersed in the game (whilst getting very wet). PlayStation even designed a silly new slogan: “Where immersion meets submersion. We call it super-mersion.” 

 

Tesco trampolines isn’t strictly tech-related, but it’s a great fake example of problem solving, so it makes it into this year’s round up. The supermarket giant announced this morning that it would be fitting trampoline aisles into its stores to assist ‘shorter shoppers’ hit the heights of the top shelf.

April Fools’ Day pranks are a great way for brands to earn some exposure in the national news, as well as convey a bit of personality. As with all April Fools’ pranks – there’s a time and place. Don’t excite people too much. Pretending to launch the iPhone 7 for £100 is akin to telling your girlfriend you’ve booked a surprise Easter weekend in Paris only to tell her at noon that you’re actually going to Nando’s.

Stay within the parameters of what’s funny, what’s almost believable and what isn’t going to upset people when they cotton on, and April Fools’ Day is a great PR opportunity for your brand.

Daniel Odutola

Hill & Knowlton Strategies Search