Direct Line Blog

Psych! April Fool's Day 2014, Marketing Style

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Rev up your truth machines, it's April Fool's Day—a time when marketers roll up their sleeves and try to get in on some of that sweet, sweet social media action.

But it's not always easy for a brand to pull off humor. As Devra Preywes, VP of marketing and insight at Unruly Media, told Direct Marketing News: “Marketers think humor creates a favorable association with their products, but few succeed in it. The problem with being funny is that most of those who try it hover around amusement instead of hilarity.”

But some marketers do know how to bring the funny:

The World's First Underwear Iron

Nobody wants wrinkled underpants. That's just gauche. Thanks, Fruit of the Loom and Crispin Porter + Bogusky:


 Disclaimer: Please do not iron underwear while on your body.
 

What's That…Smell?

Rain—it's a gift from nature. But what if companies could add their brand's scent to the very droplets that fall from the sky for a truly multisensory brand experience? That's “Brand Drops,” the result of a fictitious and unique partnership between Publicis Seattle (hey, they get a lot of rain), and the scientific community, to make It possible for brands to distill scents like “French fry,” “new car smell,” or “fresh cut grass” and seed them right into the clouds above. #BrandDrops is the next big thing in biotechnical marketing, don't you know.


 

Publicis Seattle went all out for this one. There's an info-packed microsite, a LinkedIn profile for the Brand Drops CEO, and an email address (branddrops@publicis-usa.com) where you can ostensibly write to learn more about how to line up your next aromatic rain campaign.

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But it's not always easy to tell the fakes from the genuine article. In a world where Facebook just paid $2 billion to acquire virtual reality technology Oculus Rift, Google's 2013 April Fool's joke “Google Nose” (a beta feature that claimed to allow users to be able to search the Internet by smell) isn't that totally insane. Who really knows what's real and what's for giggles?


And some things that do sound like April Fool's jokes—I'm very happy to report—are actually real, like Catstarter, Meow Mix's Kickstarter for cats, where cat-lovers can crowdfund cat-centric projects like the “Twister Dish,” a dish that funnels food from the edges of the bowl to the center, and “Meal Machine,” which allows you to feed your cat through Twitter.

We weren't sure ourselves, but Meow Mix put us at our ease:

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