To April Fool or not to April Fool... | DMA

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To April Fool or not to April Fool...


It happens every year, admit it. There's at least one piece of intriguing, amusing and ‘out there’ content plausible enough to momentarily beguile your consciousness before you realise you've been ‘had’. Doh!

And this year has been no different, so here are a few of our favourites…

The new Mini Hipster Hatch

The much-maligned modern-day hipster was in the firing line for this well-executed effort from Mini. Organic pumpkin is the new black, after all.

Pimm’s sponsors Big Ben

The taste of British summertime announced a sponsorship deal to display its logo on the UK’s most famous clock face until the end of the summer season. Does this mean it’s always Pimm’s O’Clock?

Introducing the Carlsburger

Carlsberg served up a beef burger with a boozy twist, but it did unfortunately turn out to be a whopper. A lucky escape for the cows of Denmark.

Adopt a unicorn with the WWF

This was a brilliant campaign with a twist from WWF. By reeling their audience in with the promise of unicorns, magic and rainbows, they were able to raise awareness of the plight of the unicorn’s curvy cousin, the African rhino.

Brand benefits

So there’s plenty in it for rhinos, but what’s really in it for brands, apart from giving their agencies carte blanche to produce work they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to get away with?

Actually, plenty. Here are some sound commercial reasons to go with the ‘fool’ flow:

1.Get it right and it’s a way for creative brands to stand out from general chatter

2. It gives fans and newbies genuine entertainment value without the ‘sell’, positioning the brands altruistically

3. For the right brands, it extends a certain licence not to take themselves too seriously, which could garner reconsideration from lapsed or new customers

4. Brands can take the lead on socially lubricating content in a positive way – with the potential of going viral

How to get it right

1. Anchor the ‘joke’ in the product

2. Execute it well for credibility

3. Don’t try too hard or it’ll feel too contrived

4. Don’t be afraid of it – a smiley face or other tonal caveat could kill the joke

5. Be creative and have fun

6. ‘Merchandise’ it for all it’s worth

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