Don’t be a fool when it comes to campaigns

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April Fool’s is a classic day to play pranks and tricks on friends and family and even for brands to have fun and engage with their audiences and customers. With traditional rules stating that the fools must be carried about before noon on the day, (otherwise the gag is reversed and you become the fool yourself) you’re left with a small window of opportunity to make an impact and to get the reaction you want. 

Here’s a round-up of some of the great campaigns we’ve seen out there and the lessons you can learn from them to apply to any campaign:

Jewellery for dogs

Accessory and jewellery brand Linjer released their email marketing campaign this morning stating their new collection for dogs, using the simple tagline ‘designed for dogs, by dog lovers’. Given that the UK pet care market was valued at £2.8 billion in 2019, it was quite believable that dog lovers and owners might be willing to purchase jewellery for their pooches, well I say that as one of our team members fell for the gag (not naming any names). 

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Lesson to learn from – focus on trends. It’s well known that people spend on their pets, and Linjer jumped on this trend which helped make their fool that little bit more credible. 

Dove Island

ITV announced that following the success of Love Island they were launching a new show called ‘Dove Island’. The fool involved lots of bird puns and terminology but viewers were quick to realise that it was just a prank. 

Lesson to learn from – have fun, but if you want it to be believable don’t take it too far. 

Making you XXX

Manchester content agency Making You Content announced they would be launching an Only Fans account, to give people ‘the content you really want to see’. The reveal then asked their audience to donate to their charity of the year Barnabus. 

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Lesson to learn from – make it relatable. Whilst I didn’t think Making You Content was starting up an Only Fans account, I did think it was clever how they played on their brand and used the tagline ‘Making you XXX’. 

Voltswagen

Car brand Volkswagen announced they were changing their name to Voltswagen in an effort to promote their electric vehicles, however, the brand released this at the end of March, leading to much confusion and backlash when it was announced it was just an April Fool’s stunt after all. 

Lesson to learn from – get your timing right, when it comes to April Fool’s the whole point is that it’s on the 1st of April. However, as with any campaign, the time that you release your campaign to your audience can be crucial so make sure you do your research and plan carefully.

Lockdown stylist

Now not to seem biased, but our own team came up with a great idea for our April Fool’s, to pretend we were hiring a stylist to help get us ready for going back to the office. We hosted an over the top job description on our website that included experience requirements of  ‘someone who lived through the 1918 Spanish Flu and has experience helping an agency from this time recover.’ In the end, as we revealed the fool, we explained that we actually can’t wait to go back to the office, and we’re more than ready, however, we are looking for more people to join our team in which we promoted the current careers available

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Lesson to learn from – have a purpose to your campaign, ours was to showcase the growth of our team and to highlight the recruitment drive, which helped make the campaign that bit believable (up until you read the ad). 

If you’re struggling to create your next campaign or looking for advice then get in touch with our team to see how we can help.