Hannover. April Fools’ Day is one of those things: Not everyone can laugh about it, and some people embarrass them. Nevertheless, on April 1st of every year, there are many companies that mock their customers at the shovel. Overview of (un) successful campaigns in recent years.
Voltwagen: VW causes trouble at the beginning of April Fool’s Day
Volkswagen produced an unsuccessful version of April Fool this year. With the company being renamed “Wolvetagne” in the United States, the carmaker wanted to draw attention to its aggressiveness in electromobility. The shot backfired. Especially in the United States, where Volkswagen already has a battered image due to the diesel scandal, criticism of the marketing gag fell short. The fact that April Fool’s joke was introduced too early did not make things any better. VW was forced to put an end to the joke and publicly apologized before 1 April 2021 for wrongfully apologizing.
Burger King April Fool’s Day Joke: Whopper Toothpaste
Burger-eating enthusiasts may be happy about the #whopperfresh Burger King campaign from three years ago – at least for a short time, until the campaign was canceled the next day. The fast food chain announced its own toothpaste, which when brushing your teeth, should combine flame-grilled beef, tomatoes, onions and Co. to develop its unique flavor. According to Burger King, toothpaste should only go through a short testing phase and then be available at all branches. The marketing team even came up with their own commercial for in-house toothpaste:
Burger King April Fool’s Joke Number Two: Whopper for Left Handers
Not the only laughing part of a roster mocking toothpaste: In early 1998, when Chen announced the “Whopper for Left Handers”, Burger King betrayed many gullible customers. At the time, USA Today featured the April Fool’s joke all over the page. The burger should include the same ingredients as a normal whopper, except that tomatoes, meatballs, and co will be rotated 180 degrees.
BBC April Fools Classic: Spaghetti-E (R) NTE
Already a bit old, but always good: a particularly memorable duck contribution by the BBC about the spaghetti crop in Tagino. In a 1957 TV report, women were shown picking spaghetti from trees and then letting it dry in the sun. Packed seriously and documentably, this contribution ensured that thousands of people later asked the BBC to find out how spaghetti farming in the Home Garden worked.
April Fool’s Joke by Reiter Sport: Special Edition with Mett
Long-awaited by many chocolate fans and finally came true in 2014: Mettar’s Chocolate from Ritter Sport. At least he is the chocolate maker, who has partnered with sausage maker Rougenvelder Müller for this purpose. According to Reiter Sport at that time the limited edition can now be ordered through the webshop.
In the years that followed, Ritter Sport continued to accompany the April campaigns. In 2015, for example, “Ritter Sport 3-D printer for home”, and in 2016 the best chocolate in the world with gold leaf, saffron thread and truffle champagne cream.
Munich Police’s April Fool’s Joke: Police Officer Dating
Munich Police colleagues, who announced their own police app on April 1, 2017, were also creative. The application promised “a swipe to the police partner” and tried to encourage the police and citizens to get to know and get to know each other. There should also be a free handcuff set for the first ten downloads.
April Fool’s Day by Google: Google Gulp and True Humility
Google’s April Fools joke is notorious, and in 2016 one of them had to reverse after protests. More on that later.
In 2005 they wanted to reassure users with “Google Gulp” that the company had invented a drink that could increase user intelligence. In 2013, search engines intimidated their users with the message “Google is removing YouTube”. A year later, interplanetary IP addresses were to be handed over, and in 2018, Google Israel invented the “Google Hummus API”, which was chickpeas. Information can be saved in the cloud. Google finally has the opportunity to understand how individual user’s individual taste buds work – to suggest the right humus recipe in search results.
On the other hand, the 2016 April Fool’s joke caused trouble. Google replaced the “Send and Save” button to “Send and Drop Mike” on Gmail. An animated GIF was attached to the mail, in which a minion leaves a microphone at the end of the message. The joke was based on Barack Obama’s famous “Mike Drop” in the same year. However, many users did not find it strange after accidentally pressing the button for cover letters such as important emails. The company then received so much criticism on social media that Google again removed the button.
April Fool from Microsoft: Company suspended in 2019
Similar to Google and other tech companies, Microsoft was not very good for regular comic contributions on April 1st. These include, for example, better Outlook service, in which e-mail must be sent by delivery truck in the form of letters. Or “shake to save” function on cell phones, through which users can assume their data by shaking them to the cloud storage service Onedrive. There has even been a separate office version for cats in recent years.
In 2019, however, the marketing department did not contribute to the April Fools ‘joke – in an internal memo from Chris Caposilla to its employees, saying that recent years’ actions had not only a positive impact on the company. It remains to be seen whether this year will be another April Fool’s joke from Microsoft.
April 1st: Where does the April Fools joke come from?
The custom of making fun of April Fool is not clearly established yet. Various historical traditions serve as an explanation, none of which are believed to be of official origin.
On the other hand, it can be said with certainty that the phrase “send someone in April” first appeared in Germany in the early 17th century. The term “April Fool Joke” became common only in the late 19th century.
In other European countries as well, 1 April established itself as a day on which concocted stories were told with the intention of tricking others. The tradition eventually came to North America via migrants, where “April Fools’ Day” is still a tradition that has been mainly put on various media.