April Fools’ Day is the one day a year you’re guaranteed to get a pass to be a prankster. But what happens when the joke goes too far or comes up short? To make April Fools’ Day favorites (and fails), you have to navigate the slippery slope of social media and push your creative boundaries.
Why test the trust of your audience? In just one minute:
- 347,222 stories are posted on Instagram
- 147,000 photos are uploaded to Facebook
- 319 new users join Twitter
Cutting through that much content to pull off a successful ruse requires taking what people are posting about and creating relevant messages around it. Real-time marketing turns current events into a marketing strategy to connect consumers with a product or service at the moment. With a hoax holiday built on humor, your brand has the potential to go viral, but it can be risky. If the gag’s not golden, then the joke won’t land.
Last year, Volkswagen promoted its new electric car by sharing its “new name” — Voltswagen. They faced a problem by running the story two days before April 1 and refusing to deny that it was a joke. Nearly every media organization ran it as “fact” which made the prank problematic and poorly produced.
When the joke is just right, the people you’re speaking to can laugh with your brand, not at it.
Local Richmond tattoo shop, Loose Screw Tattoo, brilliantly pulled a fast one on thousands of Richmonders last year. Every car from Carytown to The Fan had a fake parking ticket on their windshield that revealed itself to be $50 off their next tattoo at the shop. By including their Instagram handle and urging those who fell for the joke to use the hashtag #ScrewYouLST, reactions flooded social media and made the shop the talk of the town — literally.
They say, “The bolder, the better,” but remember that the key to foolish fun is to tastefully tease your audience without losing their trust by going overboard.
If you or your business needs branding that sets you apart from the crowd for more than just one day a year, shoot Madison+Main an email or call the office at (877) 623-6246! #BoldBrandsWin