April Fools: Highlights of 2012

Posted: April 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

On the 1st of April every year, pranksters around the world take pleasure in fooling their innocent victims. Popular media outlets and companies have been known to get involved in the fun.  Following The Guardian’s famous 1977 prank, where they claimed to have discovered a new semicolon shaped island in the Indian Ocean, companies have continued the trend.

April Fools day offers the perfect opporunity to increase brand awareness, build brand salience and attract media coverage. It’s an ideal day for some quirky fun to attract attention in the hope that the prank spreads and word of mouth picks up.  The nature and popularity of social media certainly helps in doing so.

Here are somehighlights of 2012.

Virgin Volcanic

Sir Richard Branson launched Virgin Volcanic and accompanying website which sees Jules Verne’s Journey to the centre of the Earth become a reality.

Branson said: “I have a long held a fascination with volcanoes …I decided that one day I would go there too. Alongside our adventures with Virgin Galactic and Virgin Oceanic, volcanoes are the next great unexplored terrain. What can I say, I lava challenge!”

The spiral shaped probe designed to undertake the task, named WS1, will plunge into the molten core of an active volcano. Joining Branson on his maiden voyage are Tom Hanks, star of Joe Versus the Volcano; Black Eyed Peas artist Will.i.am; actor and producer  Seth Green; and award winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple. Members of the public are invited to join the back up team by using the #virginvolcanic hashtag.

Mini Countryman

Mini offered the chance to build your own Mini Countryman in a 29,762 part series.  In week one you recieve a single screw- leaving only 29,671 more parts to collect. The newspaper ad is complete with an order form to register interest via post.

Lynx App

Lynx launched a campaign for their app that lets you spray yourself with your phone. You simply choose the fragrance you want using the app and spray it on directly from the phone.

A makeover for Google Maps

Google has a history of succesful pranks and this year they announced their new 8-bit version of Google Maps that temporarily replaced the standard version.

In tribute to Dragon Quest, even world monuments and icons have been given the pixel makeover. Look out for Buckingham palace, complete with rows of guards in red uniform and tall beaver hats, Big Ben and Nelsons Column.

The prank has proved so popular that fans have asked Google to make the change permanent. What a great response for Google!

Enjoy your weekend,

Happy Friday!


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