If used correctly, companies can implement pranks to increase engagement
As public relations and communication professionals, our job is to create connections with our audiences, especially during holidays. April Fools’ Day is a perfect example of a holiday that many companies use to attract more attention and engagement to their brand.
Relatable content makes for great PR and can help to elevate a company’s image. Here are a few examples of companies using April Fools’ Day to their advantage:
Rent the Runway
In 2018, Rent the Runway, a fashion site where women can rent designer and luxury items, pranked its customers by announcing it would release fashion items for dogs. The company used April Fools’ Day as a way to expand its rental services to dogs so the dogs could match their owners.
Though it was just a prank for the holiday, people really fell for the couture fashion designs on the website. Fellow dog owners and puppy lovers were able to create a connection with the brand through fake dog testimonials posted on social media and the website.
In 2018, T-Mobile decided to participate in April Fools’ Day by releasing Sidekicks: The world’s first ‘smartshoephone.’ The product was essentially a new phone that would have smart laces and sole speakers embedded into the shoe. The company used this holiday as a way of connecting with audiences that were begging for Sidekicks, an iconic mobile phone released back in 2007, to come back.
Though the foot phone was not actually created, T-Mobile used this opportunity to market and sell a signature magenta sneaker on their website.
Honda Canada participated in April Fools’ Day in 2019 by releasing ‘The Polite Horn.’ The company released a short video, which included a fake new feature allowing Honda owners to politely honk their horn without being rude.
This prank has been a fan favorite for 2019 and has reached a high level of engagement on social media platforms like Twitter. The results made great PR for the company because the company was able to relate more with its audience.
April Fools’ Day pranks can have a huge impact on the way an audience recognizes a brand. It can make a company seem more relatable and brings great PR to the brand and its future endeavors. However, there is a wrong way to prank your customers. Check out some examples of April Fools’ Day pranks gone wrong.
Nicole Cardenas is a fall intern at Axia Public Relations. She is currently studying public relations and event management at the University of Florida. Go Gators!