Monday, April 2

April Fools' Day

I love when a brand has a sense of humor, and playfully engages its consumers.  Well last year one of my favorite brands got me, and got me good.  So good that it bears repeating this year.

I actually wrote a serious blog post about a new flavor of Vitamin Water ... and it turned out to be an April Fools' Day joke.

Another brand, Kim Kardashian, was also the subject of a spot-on April Fools' Day joke ... although I don't think she originated it.  The Hollywood Reporter ran this story on Kim K on April 1st this year, very much in line with pop culture speculation.  But it turned out to be a joke!

YouTube also "released" the YouTube collection on DVD ... a great nod to tech gone passed us by!  I loved the tagline ... YouTube that you can hold in your hand!  And Virgin announced an expedition to the center of the Earth, with Tom Hanks at the helm with the founder.  Cool!

"What's the point," you might say, for a brand to bother doing an April Fools' Day joke?  Showing a human side.  Giving your consumers a chance to connect emotionally with the brand beyond just the brand's daily, rational benefits.  Getting the consumers to think a little more deeply about the brand, rather than just "using" it.

Enhancing the brand experience, you might say.

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor, NYU


  1. So interesting Jim, because I was going to write a post today about why brands shouldn't do April Fool's pranks unless "funny" or "surprise" is part of their brand experience 24/7/365. Maybe I'm too much of a stick in the mud, but if a brand tries to make fools of its customers, that just doesn't seem to be part of a great brand experience.

    1. So true - and I guess the prank has to fit with the brand equity or somehow reinforce the merits of the brand. Like YouTube doing a DVD set: not so subtle reminder of what they really offer! But I agree with your point that unless it's core to the brand, I can be dangerous. Jim.