01.04.2016 April Fools’ Day: The brands that won and lost

April Fools’ Day is here – a full 24 hours devoted to humorous misinformation, confusion and practical jokes. While some of us ‘celebrate’ with a few pranks and some added giggles, many brands and marketers take April Fools’ Day seriously.

Every year, brands across the world get into the spirit of the day with fake product launches or joke announcements in the press or on social media. While it’s an opportunity for fun interaction with their customers, it is also a chance to boost brand visibility and even go viral.

However, there is always the risk of the joke falling flat or even backfiring, causing potential damage to the brand.

Here, we take a look at some of the best and worst April Fools’ Day jokes from brands in recent years.


  1. Miz Mooz Shoes: The Selfie Shoe

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The phenomenon of the ‘the Selfie Shoe’ grabbed the attention of the internet last April.

As explained in the YouTube video, the selfie-shoe would apparently allow selfie-lovers to ditch the outdated use of arms and the impractical selfie-stick for a more fashionable option.

The video got countless reactions on social media and was even picked up by some major broadcasters like CNN and MTV. For a lesser-known brand like Miz Mooz, this was the perfect outcome.

The success of the prank lay in its believability – why wouldn’t self-obsessed young people want to take their selfie game to the next level by combining it with a killer pair of heels?


  1. Ted Baker: Bluetooth adjustable heels

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Hi-tech shoes were definitely a theme last April Fools’ Day. Another brand to successfully trick the public with foot-based foolery was Ted Baker, which tempted its customers with adjustable heels.

The idea was that a pair of heels could be connected to Ted Baker’s smartphone app via Bluetooth, making the height of the heel adjustable to fit every occasion.

“Will you stay grounded at two, step out with four, or stand tall with six?”, Ted Baker asked. As expected, social media savvy shoe-lovers went wild.


  1. Brains: The underwater pub

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Our personal favourite prank of recent years was the UK’s first underwater pub, proposed by Cardiff’s own Brains Brewery for Cardiff Bay.

We had high hopes that the Aqua Nova would become our new local, allowing the Brighter Comms team to live out our Little Mermaid fantasies and drink and dine “under the sea”. But alas, it was not to be.


The losers

  1. Tesco: Trampoline aisles

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Take a situation that would 100 per cent never work, pair it with a lesser-known ex-reality TV star and bad use of Photoshop, and you have yourself a weird and rather unsuccessful April Fools’ joke.

It was Tesco who proposed the idea of trampoline-inspired ‘bouncy aisles’, which allegedly had been developed and quality tested with the help of gymnast and ex-TOWIE star Lucy Mecklenburgh.

It was all a bit weird, and the public agreed.

  1. Marmite Clear

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When Marmite tried to introduce a clear version of its spread as an April Fools’ joke, the public didn’t bite.

In the “release” of the product, a spokesperson said, “the psychological benefits from eating a clear or light-coloured spread simply cannot be ignored. Fifteen years in the making, Marmite Clear is our most innovative new product development to date”.

For a brand that famously defines itself as something you either love or hate, people certainly weren’t split down the middle on this idea.

  1. Pot Noodle: Air fresheners

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Pot Noodle’s 45,000 Twitter followers did not seem to be too fussed about the brand’s April Fools’ joke last year.

With only 22 retweets and 23 favorites, the pot noodle air freshener idea was a total flop. It was a rare miss for a brand famous for its cheeky, memorable and sometimes controversial advertising.


We’re excited to see what brands and marketers will come up with for this year’s April Fools’ Day.

Have you fallen for a brand’s April Fools’ Day prank? What has been your favourite? Let us know on Twitter – @BrighterComms