April Fools’ Day 2023: Brands that got it right – and wrong
We don’t mind the joke being on us.
April Fools’ Day came and went. In its wake, there were a flurry of jokes. From badly told bald-faced lies to consumers to light-hearted jabs poking fun at themselves, the internet was chock full of April Fools’ Day goodies.
On April 1, the term “April Fools” was mentioned just over 1.685 million times according to social media data from social media analytics platform NetBase Quid.
Net sentiment for the day was 27% (-10) with potential impressions nearly at 66.7 billion, the company said. So it’s no wonder that many brands wanted to hop onto the trending topic. But not all of them pulled it off with style.
This list below is our take on a few good pranks— and slightly annoying ones — this go-round. But hey, even the ones that landed a little flat are still getting written about – and isn’t that the point?
Tesla takes us for a spin
Tesla showcased their editing skills with the recent debut of their “Cybertruck crash test.”
The soon-to-drop all-electric pickup truck is considered to be one of the safest vehicles because it is made from cold-rolled stainless steel and armored glass. The vehicle’s exterior, also made to be dent and scratch-resistant, is said to have a “nearly impenetrable exoskeleton.” All that is great but what happens during a crash test?
We have yet to find out. During a 37-second crash test clip, eager onlookers cover their ears and online observers wait with bated breath in anticipation of the crash. The seemingly armored vehicle charges toward a wall as we brace for the impact. That. Never. Happens. With editing and cutaways galore, viewers are forced to acquiesce to the fact that we’ll never see the satisfying impact.
The video garnered 12.7 million views and varying reactions from laughing emojis to snarky responses like Shane Nickerson who said, “Just like the truck! It never arrives.”
Shelby Varney 𝝅 brings in a light-hearted jab: “Wars have been started for less!!!”
While we’re not mad at this antic, it does leave many viewers dissatisfied like cutting away from a perfect cake slice being cut the wrong way intentionally. Or an itch that will never be scratched. Also, maybe link to the real crash or let viewers know when they can anticipate actually seeing one.
Duolingo speaks our language
The Duolingo learning app got romantic by announcing that it is venturing into reality television with a new show through Peacock, “Love Language.”
The simple premise is a dating reality TV show featuring singles – none of whom speak the same language – looking for love.
“Discover which two singles learn to speak each other’s love language,” they posted on social media. “The wildest, most unhinged reality TV show yet, hosted by yours truly.”
“Love Language is coming soon… or is it?” they teased.
Duolingo gets it right by staying on brand, producing a realistic-looking showthat holds appeal for some and finding a great way to pull other brands intothe fun.
“Please do this!!!! This would add a layer of actual intelligence to the garbage reality shows out now,” Carron Productions said on YouTube.”When I traveled to Mexico I met someone and I used Duolingo to learn spanish and we actually ended up dating. This plot is golden.”
Tinder’s catch of the day
Dating app Tinder told users who have fishing photos in them that they will be banned. Photos of men holding up big bass have become infamous on dating apps, and Tinder has had enough.
Tinder didn’t hold back.
“Effective immediately, Tinder will start removing all photos of members holding sea creatures big and small. All fish-related content is expected to be removed within 24 hours, making Tinder the first dating app in history to be ‘fish free,’ because let’s face it – no one looks good holding a slimy fish.”
This works because it shows that they’re listening to users who make fun of the dating pic trope – while also giving dating advice to those with aquatic creatures. In the end, no fish were harmed in the making of this gem. Side note: No one cares how big your marlin is but you, fellas.
Obsidian AI is unhelpful on purpose
Obsidian, a knowledge base app, decided to announce that it’s finally hopping on the AI train by implementing an AI assistant. The AI assistant is dubbed “Gemmy, the Obsidian Unhelper” and features real plug-ins.
Obsidian developers cheekily declare that the app will be completely “unhelpful” with a nod to Microsoft’s adorable but inept virtual assistant circa 1997-2007. May Clippy rest in peace.
“Not sure if an AI assistant is going to be helpful in your workflow? Don’t worry, we’ve eliminated the guesswork for you because Gemmy is 100% going to be unhelpful,” according to the initial post.
While the assistance literally does not do anything useful, it’s an amusing poke at technological misfits that never quite took off.
Commenter Adam Chapman @adamchapman519 didn’t mind the joke and said that he wanted the news to be true.
“Even if all it did was pop up to say, ‘Hi,’” Chapman said of virtually connecting with Gemmy.
Commenter Snehasish Nayak @AskSnehasish didn’t believe it.
“Not gonna trust anything today….” Nayak responded to the post.
Millennials especially can appreciate the joke because let’s be real, Clippy and the other animated virtual assistants couldn’t really help us. Yet this fake announcement hearkens back to a slower time when bonded over mouse clicks with our little, inefficient helpers. Thanks for the memories, Obsidian.
Durex finds its happy spot?
Durex Singapore posted a spoof campaign of a kids-style meal with french fries, chicken nuggets, a drink and you guessed it, condoms. The mock-McDonald’s Happy Meal campaign says that it’s “beyond delicious.”
“Treat yourself to The Happiest Meal which comes with nuggets, fries and an Invisible drink. Special wrappers await within the set,” a Facebook post said. “It’s time to dig in.”
The 18-and- up meal combo has a tagline that reads, “No, we’re not kidding when it comes to your happiness.”
Tan Junming Clarence asked on Facebook if his wife can bring her five kids (including himself) to get one set each.
Durex responded: “Tan Junming Clarence 5 kids? Then you deserve The Happiest Meal.”
Lance Ho asked, “Will you be coming out with wasabi flavour? Lolz…”
While we’re all for a good joke, especially for April Fools, let’s try to not combine two very different products in a weird mashup that borders distasteful, mmkay?
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