4 Brand Approaches to #AprilFools

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 01 Apr, 2016

Nobody can be trusted on April Fools' Day, not even your favorite brand.

With everyone from Google to Hulu getting in on the fun, many business professionals are left wondering how they can celebrate the holiday with their brand. Fortunately, Website Magazine is providing some inspiration with its list of four brand approaches to April Fools' Day below:

The "No Joke" Promotion
Brand Example: Victoria's Secret

The "no joke" promotion is a pretty common April Fools' approach for brands. This is because it enables the brand to recognize the holiday without actually pranking its customers. In Victoria's Secret example, the retailer simply uses the subject line "No joke: free shipping on $25 ends today!" to capture attention with relevance, while also still marketing its free shipping promotion.

The Ongoing Joke/ Product Launch
Brand Example: American Eagle

American Eagle planned ahead with its #Aerieman campaign, which celebrates men and body positivity. While aspects of the campaign were meant to be funny and created specifically for April Fools' Day, the company has a broader mission, as the company notes it takes body positivity very seriously. As part of the campaign, American Eagle announced that it is donating $25,000 to NEDA, a non-profit that supports those affected by eating disorders. In addition, the retailer is making a commitment to stop retouching men's underwear and swim model images by the 2016 holiday season.

The True Joke
Brand Example: PetSmart

In some cases brands decide to celebrate April Fools' Day with obvious jokes, perhaps as a way to get a laugh from customers while also not fully pranking them. PetSmart, for instance, sent an email campaign with the mission of helping its subscribers "train their jackalope." The email clicks through to a complete guide for training Jackalopes (which includes whisky and protective gear) and encourages its audience to share their pictures, tips and #jackalopeproblems on the company's social media pages.

The Simple Acknowledgment
Brand Example: Bronto Software

Some brands like to play it safe by simply acknowledging the holiday, which is the approach Bronto Software took in the Twitter message below.