William Joseph Communications

April Fools' Campaigns that Leave an Impression

We all know of the “holiday” on the first day in April, along with the sneaky pranks that follow. Gluing quarters to sidewalks, plastic wrap surprises and switching sugar for salt are just a few of the classics.

Some clever companies started leveraging this day to their advantage. In fact, some of them have built a reputation for getting us pretty good. They tease us with fake announcements and mock promotions. They get us excited for products that seem too good to be true – and usually are.

The widespread adoption of social media has added fuel to the fire with its relatively low buy-in and ability to spread virally, if done well. No matter how the prank is shared, there are a few things to remember when creating a successful campaign.

Things to Avoid when creating an April Fools’ Campaign:

When Pranks Go Wrong

One example of what can happen when a prank doesn’t avoid the list above, was a hoax last year with two Kansas City Radio DJs. They started talking about a chemical in their pipes, rivers and sewers called Di-Hydrogen Monoxide. They talked about the side effects it can cause such as sweating and wrinkled skin. Di-Hydrogen Monoxide is the scientific name for water. Before revealing the joke an hour and a half later, 911 call centers and the water department was inundated with urgent phone calls from terrified citizens. The people who were fooled by this prank, as well as the call centers themselves, did not find it funny at all. City officials described it as akin to a terrorist attack. Although it garnered some attention to the radio station, it wasn’t the kind they were hoping for.

Tips for Making a Successful April Fools Campaign

Great Examples of Successful April Fools Pranks:

Samuel Adams: “Heli-YUM”

Samuel Adams did an online video where the new ingredient for one of their beers was not hops, but Helium. Or should we say, “Heli-YUM.” The founder, Jim Cook, talks about his creation and how helium adds so much flavour. He takes a sip and continues while his voice gets higher and higher. He then offers his beer to a pub, who also wax on about the flavour with their ridiculously high voices. The notion that you could add Helium to beer is something most have never thought about, but would love to try if it existed. This campaign was viewed 1.2 million times and counting. It all adds up to a lot of awareness for Samuel Adams.

Starbucks: “Size Matters”

In 2010, the cafe chain announced the addition of two new sizes to their coffee lineup. The Plenta (128 fluid ounces) and the Micra (2 fluid ounces). They continued the gag on their blog by suggesting other uses for the used cups, like a rain hat for the Plenta and a kitten dish for the Micra. This captured a lot of attention amongst the caffeine addicts across North America.

Hotels.com: “A Moon with a View”

Hotels.com issued a press release promising it would soon offer rooms on the moon. “We are confident that a stay on the moon will be truly out of this world,” they said. The release advertised rooms starting at $1,200 – not including travel costs of course. Expedia.com countered this by advertising a hotel on Mars starting at just $99. Both sites saw an increase of traffic to their sites, and who knows, maybe one day they will have a hotel on the moon – just don’t use the outdoor pool.

This quirky holiday gives a unique opportunity for companies to be both playful with their audience as well as generating strong awareness for their brand. Following the tips above can leave a great impression with your audience.

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Friday, February 15th, 2019 at 11:05am
The latest edition to the WJ art collection is very special! Did you know Freddie had a diploma in graphic design and created multiple album covers and the now famous Queen crest? As an agency with a strong design foundation, we're honoured to be in such company. #FreddieMercury https://t.co/tU6sG0Jgrv wj_agency photo
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Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 at 2:51pm
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William Joseph CommunicationsFriday, February 15th, 2019 at 4:23pm
We love TWT Group Inc. and wanted to show them just how much on Valentine's Day yesterday! These will come in handy for the long weekend!
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William Joseph CommunicationsFriday, February 15th, 2019 at 1:46pm
The latest edition to the William Joseph art collection is a special one!

A talented showman (to say the least), Freddie Mercury had a keen sense for both theatrics and design. The Queen front man had a diploma in graphic design from Ealing College of Art and applied his visual talents to various Queen projects, including multiple album covers and the now famous Queen crest. Did you know that the creatures included in the logo (two lions, two fairies and a crab) represent the zodiac signs of each band member?

Coincidentally, many pop culture legends have or had a background in graphic design, including Pete Townshend, David Bowie and Alan Rickman.

As an agency rooted in creativity and built up of many talented artists ourselves, it's safe to say we're pretty fortunate to be in such company.
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Happy Valentine's Day from ours to yours - we love you SEO much!
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William Joseph CommunicationsWednesday, February 13th, 2019 at 4:57pm
The website for our client Hillcrest Financial is live! We've had a blast working with their team on this project and are proud to share it with you all.

Take a look at our work and the amazing services Hillcrest offers!
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William Joseph CommunicationsMonday, February 11th, 2019 at 11:52pm
Grande Prairie - A Valentine’s Day surprise. A Ryan’s Roundup in Feb 13 at the Skylark Lounge at the Pomeroy Hotel after work. Who’s in?



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