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aardmaan blog - April Fools: Where Like Minds Meet in Jest?

April Fools: Where Like Minds Meet in Jest?

Published April 1, 2010 by Gillian Hunter

Once again, we've seen an avalanche of April Fools today. However, you need to be really clever to stand out - or be so obscure - that only your tribe will get it. Telling tall stories is a serious business. April Fools can be very good for business. However, it has to be exceptionally done well. And needs to follow the simple rules of communication. Your April Fools' campaign needs to:
  • Reflect your brand image
  • Resonate with your existing audience
  • Reach and engage a new (relevant) audience
  • Go viral

Branding. Really good campaigns reinforce the brand and help people to make a stronger connection with your company, your values and ethos. Google always do exceptional April Fools campaigns. Will this year go down as one of the most memorable? You decide.

Exisiting audience. Your existing audience needs to identify with your campaign. In fact, they need to love it. Feel they are part of the tribe - and in on the joke. What you really want them to do is to pass the message on.

Predictably, Google has one again unleashed a glut of April Fools today. April Fools is not just fun - it is a serious business strategy. 

TechCruch > have done a great round-up of the best technology April Fools - and have rated each A, B, C, D - with Crunchpad kit given an A++. And, Google Search renamed as Topeka - rated a D-! It works. They're drawing a lot of traffic to their site. Their click-through alone was over 5000 - at last count. So who are the winners? Those that do the jokes - or those reporting on the jokes?

New audience. Want to reach a new audience? Break into new markets? Raise your profile amongst a group where you are less known? Target your campaign to appeal directly to them! And if you're not known, how about making a crazy offer.

Laptops Direct have a long history of doing spoof videos - on the edge of good taste. However, does help them to reach audiences they probably wouldn't reach ... and in their own words "reinforces our brand"! And, as always their videos do have viral-appeal ...

Viral. If your well-thought-through campaign just sits on your website, you will have spent a lot of marketing dollar with little effect.

Learn from the pros. You don't needhuge budgets! You just need some clever ideas. People are hungry great April Fools - so that they can show they are in on the joke. Just make your message is where your audience is - and let them forward it on.

Health Warning: A bit too risky? There is a fine line to tread. Your joke can backfire and alienate the audience you're so desperately trying to win over. Do a straw poll and test your "industry joke" before you unleash it on the world.

If people you want to get it - get it, think its hilariously funny, and would be willing to forward your campaign - you're onto a winner. If not, think again. Now is not too early to start thinking about next years campaign ... if you dare.

Have a great April Fools Day