Another round up of the best April Fools gags and pranks that we have had reported to us. We normally add a more practical and serious side as well as celebrating the fun of the day. We had planned on doing a piece about "fake news" to chime with this. However there is enough scary stuff going on right now regarding Fake News, so we have ended up keeping this post all light hearted. That said we have one item that we thought was an April Fools prank - but was in fact real - it's a crazy world we live in...
We have a great crop of April Fool gaps and pranks this year. Quite a few corporates really get behind this day and give us some really creative offerings. Apart from the last one we have restricted our roundup to Videos only.
A company we have a lot of time for and who have supported April Fools day for many years. This year it's Google Gnome. It's a play on their recently launched Google 'Home' virtual assistant. We have the video below for you. 'Gnome' provides an outdoor version of Google Home and as the video shows you can have fun with integrating your devices outdoors. It's fun but it also provides a good advert for Google Home as well. We love the little Gnome hat they added.
Another one of our favourite companies. Amazon's April Fool offering is Petlexa - another play on their very well regarded Alexa Personal Assistant device. Both Amazon and Google are competing somewhat here. Petlexa allows dogs, cats, and other animals to communicate with their version of Alexa just like a human. Somewhat disturbing, Amazon advises that Petlexa gives your pets the freedom to place orders from Amazon from your account, and to activate smart home enabled toys...
We have not seen Honda do An April Fools prank before but we really liked this one that was sent in. Perhaps it's a new thing for them. This Youtube has had less than 100k hits versus over a million for Google's. But we liked it. Regarding hits, April Fools gags can provide strong visibility for brands - Google for instance have been at it for quite a few years and they get a lot of traffic - so in strict marketing terms it does provide a great opportunity to get some more visibility across the web.
Full marks to Virgin for getting behind April Fools Day. They have produced some great pranks over the years. This year we are featuring two (if you search you will find more): Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains.
Sir Richard is well known for innovation and this prank announces his latest wheeze for long-haul flying. 'Flapenergy'. Just see the video. What will he think of next...
Virgin Trains (UK)
Are you still using paper train tickets like some hopelessly trapped-in-the-past luddite? Well, now, says Virgin Trains, customers can get their train ticket permanently tattooed on their body, thanks to the magic of Tick-Ink.
Connecticut may become first U.S. state to allow deadly police drones
This one is from Reuters. It was sent to us as an April Fools prank on the 1st.
'Connecticut may become the first U.S. state to allow law enforcement agencies to use drones equipped with deadly weapons if a bill opposed by civil libertarians becomes law.
The legislation, approved overwhelmingly by the state legislature's judiciary committee on Wednesday, would ban so-called weaponized drones in the state but exempts agencies involved in law enforcement. It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. The legislation was introduced as a complete ban on weaponized drones but just before the committee vote it was amended to exclude police from the restriction.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, was reviewing the proposal, "however in previous years he has not supported this concept," spokesman Chris Collibee wrote in an email. Civil libertarians and civil rights activists are lobbying to restore the bill to its original language before the full House vote. "Data shows police force is disproportionately used on minority communities, and we believe that armed drones would be used in urban centers and on minority communities," said David McGuire, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut.'
However this last item is not actually an April Fools prank.
The text above is abridged from the Reuters website and to be fair it was published in the USA on the 31st March (although that would have been already April the 1st in many parts of the world). It is thus a real news item. This is a real post, not "fake news". What is more disturbing: the police using drones with deadly force or the fact that the only concern being raised is that it might disproportionately affect minorities?
If you had received this item on April the 1st. Would you - like us - have thought that it was just a prank...?