With April Fools’ just around the corner, businesses have more than just funny pranks on their mind. The big question they face is: how can I make this holiday fit into our marketing campaigns? Humor is a powerful tool and can go a long way in getting your company to where it should be, and April Fools’ presents the perfect opportunity to use it. To get a good sense of how this holiday can manifest into your marketing agenda, let’s take a look at the successful campaigns used by big brands in the past for this occasion.

Last year, Sprite and McDonald’s partnered up and released an image of their “limited edition McDonald’s Sprite” on Twitter where we saw a can of Sprite with the signature capital M on the front of it. This tweet alone fooled many into thinking that this beverage actually existed, and Sprite took it further by posting another tweet in which they poked fun at their soda. With a photo of dinosaurs holding a big cup of Sprite, the brand implied that the beverage could’ve caused the creatures to go extinct. Customers then shared photos and videos of themselves enjoying their drinks, tagging Sprite and McDonald’s in their posts. This demonstrates the power of social media, specifically Twitter, as it reached thousands of people within seconds and created a trend for them to capitalize on.

Also in 2022, Native, a personal care brand focused on sustainability, partnered with famous TikToker, “Baked by Melissa,” to announce salad-scented deodorants and lotions on their Instagram accounts. The company made Melissa’s viral Green Goddess Salad the focus of their products, offering cabbage, basil, and cucumber as potential scents for their customers before ending their caption with “APRIL FOOLS!” Partnering with someone who has similar focuses and started a trend was an effective way of engaging both old and new audiences on social media. The inter-mingling of two powerful social media sites like Instagram and TikTok also broadens their reach and maximizes potential reactions.

On the same day, Krispy Kreme took a similar approach and released an image of their new perfume on Instagram: “L’Original Parfum” by Krispy Kreme. The bottle is shaped like a donut and described as “iconic, modern, and audacious” with a scent of vanilla crème that promises the smell of an “OG” (original glazed). They even started a hashtag (#SmellLikeAnOG) and sai the product could be found in their bio by clicking on the link, which led many to visit their website and order some donuts.

In 2021, Velveeta, a brand known for its yummy melted cheese, released a video on their social media accounts where they announced their new cheeses skincare line. They depicted a serum, moisturizer, and night cream, saying: “The creaminess of Velveeta, now in skincare. V by Velveeta.” The company’s cleverness didn’t stop there; they took it even further by having interested consumers sign up with their names and email addresses to find out when the products would be available. Obviously, these products weren’t real, but this “waitlist” was a creative and effective way of increasing the company’s email marketing contact list and boosting sales.

When a campaign truly connects with its intended audience, it can greatly spread throughout social media, providing your brand with more exposure and new customers. Using bigger brands as inspiration, you can learn how to best use humor to engage your audience and entertain your audience by creating your own prank for April Fools’, which may go viral and help your business grow. Being aware of new media trends helps you find content opportunities. Of course, being in tune with the needs of your target customers, but you may find that making your campaigns lighthearted and comedic, even if it is not what you typically go for, can lead to so much more than you anticipated.