April Fools Day: Marketing Opportunity or Not?

01 April 2008

We’re always asking brands to be more human, so what better way for them to do this than play an April Fool on us?

I saw a story this morning, which I assume originated from BMW, for a new model with technology that gave dogs who choose to relieve themselves up the owners prized possession an electric shock. By storing energy from braking and converting it to electricity, the peeing pooch gets a few volts up his own big end.

I personally found it mildly amusing, and I guess brands should be applauded for making us laugh. BMW could have made it even more interesting by integrating the piece with their website though.

But can every brand be as witty? Scanning the rapidly changing list of April Fool’s pranks on Wikipedia, most of them look pretty tame and make me wonder whether the companies involved should have even bothered.

What do you think? Is April Fool’s day a marketing opportunity or a reputation risk?

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2 Responses to “April Fools Day: Marketing Opportunity or Not?”

  1. andrew foote

    It’s a marketing opportunity for the right brand/industry. Probably not a smart move for law firms, banks, or pharma to test out.  

    While many attempts aren’t incredibly funny, you still have to give them props for trying. Here’s a site that has aggregated many of them: http://thisisnotanaprilfoolsjoke.com/

  2. Mariana Sarceda

    It’s a marketing opportunity as long as it lets you communicate with your clients and prospects in a different way. However, I have to agree with Andrew Foote; it’s only a marketing opportunity for the right brand and industry. Companies such as law firms, banks, insurance companies and such may put their reputation at stake  if play jokes on April’s fools day.

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