Happy April Fools Day! Thanks to the digital revolution and online marketing, April 1st has gone from minor holiday to full-fledged pop culture phenomenon. Over the last few years, we have seen brands — from the heavy hitters to creative independents — use social media, viral marketing, innovative online video creation and all things Internet to pull off good-natured pranks on their followings. To celebrate, here’s our list of five April Fools pranks you might have missed.
1.) Bacon Fresh: Topping our list is the granddaddy of all 2013 April Fools gags: Scope’s Bacon Mouthwash. Released a few days before the holiday, the spot has wisely had people wondering, “Is this actually real?!?” which is the sign of a damn good prank.
2.) Kitty to the Rescue: See Eye Inc., the school which helps canines turn into helpful service animals, is introducing the world’s first seeing eye cat in honor of the holiday. One glance at the kitty with the service harness on and you’ll see why this smart joke makes our list.
3.) Pick a Winner: Call it the worst surprise of the year. Call it a joke everybody saw coming. But whatever you call it, YouTube shutting down in an elaborate April Fool’s joke is still pretty genius.
4.) Painted-on Jeans: Kudos to clothier American Eagle for cooking up a hilarious parody of both its own products and 20-something customer base. The AEO Skinny Skinny Jeans, complete with a full online video campaign, are literally just cans of spray paint. American Eagle has managed to laugh at itself while laughing with its following, too, which is a rare thing indeed.
5.) Even More Bacon: If you weren’t totally over/grossed out/exhausted by our collective obsession of bacon, the last gag on our list should do the trick. While we can’t be positive it isn’t an actual product, we are praying J&D Foods’ recently-released bacon condoms and (gag) bacon lube are the stuff of practical jokes. Nevertheless, it is memorable and subsequently has nabbed a bunch of headlines for J&D Foods.