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9 Brands that Won April Fool’s Day Pranks in 2019

This month commenced with a Monday, fulfilling the “new week, new me, new life” fantasy. Alas! It was not an ordinary Monday – but one that makes people question their faith in humanity. Literally.

It was April Fool’s Day!

Traditionally, one would save the best of the pranks for this auspicious day. The tradition continues, but the medium has changed. Social media is the go-to place for people today, whether in search for memes or connections, and brands across the world are realizing this.

No wonder these brands went crazy with their marketing!

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This year, too, we had a plethora of brands who (tried) to prank their audience. Some were witty, while others bordered on the thin line of “this could never”. Here is a curated list of what we feel are the best pranks by the biggest brands in 2019:

Ola Restrooms

The popular ride-hailing service came up with an innovative solution to a commonly faced problem because, after all, when you have to go, you have to go. They released a video of a mobile restroom service that would’ve been available on the Ola app on call, called Ola Restroom. They even went the extra mile, promising to offer a clean restroom experience.

The revelation of the prank was accompanied by a good cause. The campaign asked its customers to facilitate better sanitation for thousands, and do their bit by opting to donate ₹1/ride to Gramalaya & help them build toilets across India.

Source: Business Insider

Tinder Height Verification

Tinder, the app that defines an entire generation of people to reflect their quality of not being afraid to explore options. Online dating, as convenient as it may be, has its own set of qualms that cannot be answered — most lie in the department of looks, and the discrepancy between people’s online and offline persona. Working on that very point Tinder “launched” the Height Verification Badge.

Source: Mashable India

Google Maps – Snake

Google Maps is famous for its quirky additions to the app that allows the customer a leeway to have fun with something as dull and regular as maps. This year, on April Fool’s day, they presented their audience with a throwback product. They temporarily added a version of the Snakes game into its Google Maps app.

Source: The Verge

Kingfisher Instant Beer

Kingfisher is the biggest beer brand in India, and it is only befitting that they do not lose out on an opportunity to drive customer engagement. They fooled their audience by releasing an advertisement for the revolutionary Beer Instant Mix. People thought that the #GoodTimes were here. Sadly, it was just a prank.

Source: Full Day Energy

Some people were excited for this premium product to hit the market and relieve them from carrying heavy beer crates. Others caught on early in the game, but were amused nonetheless.

ICC – Instagram on kits

The ICC took the liberty to redefine cricket so that they could attract a younger audience base in lieu of the Fools Day. The entire campaign received a humorous response from fans, but also left many confused.

Source: ICC Instagram

OYO – Crypto Launch in 2018

As we all know, 2017-18 is when cryptocurrency and blockchain was running riot. Things were doing exceptionally well for the nascent technology and it’s promoters. Everyone was looking to create stablecoins. And launch security tokens. By the end of 2017, the whole cryptosphere witnessed a colossal demolition sorts.

However, the morale was still high. All sorts of things were happening. News of corporations working even remotely with the technology meant a great boost for the community in crypto. Come April Fools, Oyo announced that they were launching a coin. Obviously, it ended up making fun of the whole crypto community.

Netflix – Sacred Games 2

It has been a long wait for Sacred Games 2, and Netflix knew exactly where to cash in on it. Their prank included an entire build up, as if Sacred Games 2 was on the verge of getting released. It left viewers waiting at the edge of their seats. They then released a video asking viewers to be patient, and watch Friends while they waited for an announcement. Their prank campaign hit two birds with one stone — advertising Friends on Netflix, and teasing Sacred Game fans.

Source: Netflix India Instagram

McDonald’s glow in the dark burger

McDonald’s claimed to have got the backs of the group of people who cannot eat without looking at their food. They came up with a solution that dreams are made of — a glow in the dark burger. They posted an image of a fluorescent burger with what seems to resemble a beetroot patty. They didn’t have to mention that it was a prank as the radioactive looking burger seemed straight out of a sci-fi universe. Prank Fail.

Source: Indian Express

Starbucks for pets

The essential product in a ‘white girl starter pack’ introduced a great venture — Pupbucks, like Starbucks, but for dogs — because your fur baby deserves to live their best life. In all honesty, I wish it were a real thing, because it’ll be one step closer to heaven on earth.

Source: Starbucks Twitter

Snapdeal – Smart shirts

The E-Commerce giant launched the Smart Shirt that changed color via an app. The product was received with both confusion excitement. The attractive launch price of ₹199 made many people pre-order it, but once they entered their details, it took them to a page that wished the users a Happy Fool’s day.

Source: Snapdeal Twitter

From portable restrooms to a beer mix, all pranks took the internet by a storm. Some honorable mentions include OnePlus, for “entering” the automobile industry; Shutterstock, for creating a physical library of images because “sometimes innovation means moving backward”. These harmless pranks encapture a new set of followers and drive customer engagement. Let’s see how they level-up next year.

Author avatar
Mayank Gulati