April Fool’s Day has become a major event in the digital calendar, with many brands and media owners creating elaborate pranks to show off their funny side (and get plenty of social media shares and column inches in the process). We’ve put together some of the best hoaxes from 2018’s pranksters for your viewing pleasure…
Snapchat’s Russian Bot Filter pokes fun at Facebook
Snapchat unveiled a filter that mocked Facebook’s alleged interference from Russian fake news bots. The filter puts the user’s photo in a Facebook-like frame and adds Cyrillic text and likes from “Your Mom” and “A bot.”
Omg the Snapchat April Fool's filter pic.twitter.com/moiufUQufT
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) April 1, 2018
The Observer Brexit emojis fools BBC News
The Observer newspaper reported that new Brexit emojis, dubbed Brexit Bulldog and Starry Blue, would let people use the emojis to give their social media profiles a “brand identity”. “Government sources indicated that if the Gibraltar-based company pressed ahead with the launch, ministers might look at imposing a post-Brexit import tariff on emojis,” Scherzo Primavera of the Observer reports.
The story managed to convince the BBC which ran it in their paper review.
Virgin Australia launches mid-air spin class
Apparently we are all now far too busy and important to spend time unproductively, so now you can even get fit while flying. Richard Branson’s airline, Virgin Australia, is launching Spin Class, the world’s first in-flight cycling studio. The new cabin class allows passengers to burn calories on board during long-haul international flights.
It’s great when two Virgin companies work together to come up with a really great idea. Well done to everyone at @VirginAustralia and @VirginActiveOz for introducing the world’s first in flight spin class. Will be touring Australia later this year and can’t wait to join one pic.twitter.com/cTIAxUuVZS
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) March 31, 2018
Netflix acquires Seth Rogen
The streaming service didn’t settle with Seth Rogen’s body of work, they took his actual body, too. Netflix announced that it is acquiring the comedian and movie star, saying that he signed a deal to “transfer full ownership of his personal autonomy to Netflix, Inc.” It’s essentially an ad for Rogen’s comedy special, which goes live on the streaming service on April 6th.
***EXCLUSIVE: NETFLIX ACQUIRES SETH ROGEN IN UNPRECEDENTED BUSINESS MOVE*** pic.twitter.com/0fgWHJhprh
— Netflix US (@netflix) April 1, 2018
LEGO VacuSort solves loose brick problem
No-one likes treading on lego bricks, so the children’s toy and destroyer of adult feet tweeted the release of a revolutionary new product, the VacuSort, which promises to suck up and sort by color and brick shape. The vacuum cleaner not only picks up bricks, but stores them by color and shape (and separates out dirt on the floor).
Amazon posts favourite authors to your door
Launching April 1st, Amazon Publishing will deliver your favourite authors to your front door. Watch as author @1PCornwell does whatever it takes to arrive on time. Who will you request? Its sister company, Audible, went for a sillier bent with an audio performance of the menus of its staff’s favourite restaurants in Newark, New Jersey, where their headquarters are located.
Launching April 1st, Amazon Publishing will deliver your favorite authors to your front door. Watch as author @1PCornwell does whatever it takes to arrive on time. Who will you request? pic.twitter.com/MU5480PVqE
— Amazon Publishing (@AmazonPub) April 1, 2018
Elon Musk declares bankruptcy for Tesla
Musk turned one of his Boring Company flamethrowers on himself, serving himself a deep burn about Tesla sales reports, and his penchant for selling products that people can’t believe are real. Elon was said to be found passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by “Teslaquilla” bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks.
He then went on to post a series of tweets claiming his company had gone bankrupt, the last of which included a picture of himself. “Tesla Goes Bankrupt,” he wrote in a message that copied the format of traditional press releases. “Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt. So bankrupt, you can’t believe it. There are many chapters of bankruptcy and, as critics so rightly pointed out, Tesla has them *all*, including Chapter 14 and a half (the worst one).
Elon was found passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by "Teslaquilla" bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks.
This is not a forward-looking statement, because, obviously, what's the point?
Happy New Month! pic.twitter.com/YcouvFz6Y1
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 1, 2018
Where’s Wally gets lost on Google Maps
Google added a Where’s Waldo? (or ‘Wally’ in the UK) mini-game to it’s Google Maps tool. On Android, iOS, and the desktop, you’ll see Waldo pop up in his signature red and white stripes and give you a friendly wave. From there, just tap or click on him and you’ll see the option to play a game that’s straight out of the classic children’s puzzle books. Aside from Waldo himself, you’ll also be on the lookout for his friends Wenda, Woof, Wizard Whitebeard, and also the villainous Odlaw. Once you find Waldo, you’ll be “transported to places all around the world” to start the search again. There’s even a Google Assistant component to this campaign; you can ask “where’s Waldo?” on a Home speaker, Chromebook, or Android smartphone and… well, I’m not sure what happens, quite honestly. But Google says something does.
Waldo and his friends just left Google in California for an awesome adventure.
— Google Maps (@googlemaps) March 31, 2018
Burger King’s Chocolate Whopper for Easter
With Easter and April Fool’s falling on the same date this year, Burger King got chocolatey. The fast food chain claims to be bringing out a chocolate bun and patty with raspberry syrup and vanilla frosting.
Heinz Mayonaise gets ‘Seriously Good’ with Belgian Chocolate
Another brand to link the two events of Easter and April Fool’s Day was Heinz. In a carefully crafted advert, Heinz tells how it has been working on a top-secret recipe in time for Easter. It’s seriously good mayonnaise made even better with Belgian chocolate.
Highlighter pen maker Stabilo launches “redactor pen”
Stabilo may be famous for those highlighter pens everyone has in their desk drawers, but conscious of evolving customer needs their new product range swaps the iridescent blues and pinks for a classic matt black. Designed for redacting key information, we’re thinking of it as the “anti-highlighter” – clearly the must-have for government departments the world over in 2018.
📢 The New #STABILO Redactor pen, in store now 📢
The newest way to hide the important things in life 🤩 pic.twitter.com/pNZ68r6uZQ
— STABILOUK (@STABILOUK) April 1, 2018
Bud Light rebrands Piccadilly Station
Bud Light announced that it rebranded Piccadilly Circus station, renaming it Piccadilly Dilly Circus, in celebration of its new Dilly Dilly campaign and the launch of its new 300ml bottle. Bud Light also applied to take over the entire Piccadilly Circus area, turning the iconic Fountain of Eros into the ‘Fountain of Beer-os’ for the summer. Furthermore, the beer brand applied to Westminster Council for a wider takeover of the Piccadilly Circus area across the summer, with a formal application to turn the iconic Fountain of Eros into the ‘Fountain of Beer-os’. An artist’s impression of the site shows that if approved, the fountain would be transformed into a giant beer cooler filled with ice and cold bottles of Bud Light, turning water into beer. The activity was inspired by Bud Light’s new campaign – ‘Dilly Dilly’ – and all of the upcoming UK celebrations, including bank holidays, a summer of sport and a Royal Wedding.
— Bud Light UK (@BudLightUK) April 1, 2018
Kraken Rum puts mythical beast on the Thames
If you believe this breaking news report presented by famous newscaster Michael Buerk, the Kraken has been spotted on the river Thames. The huge black cephalopod is estimated to be at least 14 metres from tentacle to tentacle, according to reports. Representatives for Kraken Black Spiced Rum, named after the celebrated sea-monster, have urged the authorities to treat the spotting with great care.
Buerk said: “Experts have been searching for years for the beast from the deep, and it has popped up here in central London, it is an extraordinary sighting and I had to come down and be first to bank the story. We’ve already seen our news feed picked up by other networks around the world.”
Burger King Belgium brings ordering kiosks to your home
Because the craving for a Whopper can’t wait, Burger King Belgium launches Whopper Easy order the first home self-service ordering kiosk. Thanks to this exclusive service, the King’s fans can order their WHOPPER® from their personal ordering kiosk, comfortably installed in their living room, in their bedroom or even in their bathroom. The only thing they’ll still have to do is to pick up their order from the nearest BURGER KING® restaurant.
Coke launches ‘Millennial Flavours’
Millennial Coke Coca-Cola is leaping on the “brunch-loving, superfood-snacking” millennial bandwagon with the introduction of three new flavours: avocado, sourdough and charcoal. “Not only do they promise to be the perfect tasty, sugar-free refreshment, but they’ll also double-up as the ideal accessory for any brunch time social media photo – guaranteed to see the ‘likes’ rolling in,”. The company leaked the story to the UK’s Sunday Mirror, which ran the gag piece Sunday morning.
Google offers ‘Bad Joke detector’ to free up storage space
Google new ‘Files Go’ is now coming after your corny jokes with the Bad Jokes Detector.It will supposedly scan your phone using custom-built deep neural network and then automatically delete all the bad jokes to free up more space on your device.
The European parliament trolls UK ‘blue passports’
Perhaps most controverisally of all, the European Parliament poked fun at Britain’s new blue post-Brexit passports. In a tweet, it claimed that “all EU passports [are] to become dark blue” – the passport equivalent of turning up to a party and seeing someone in a matching outfit.
— Europarl UK (@EPinUK) April 1, 2018