“The Internet has killed April Fools”
Anyone else struggle with the desperate and repetitive attempts from companies trying to out-fun each other online yesterday? What was painful about the exclusives from every business around is that there was more noise yesterday than any other “holiday”, and even worse, pretty much everyone woke up expecting to see April Fools littering social media. In fact, the first few I saw were in a round-up post of the best gags, at 8 in the morning! Have I said repetition yet?
Even my blog title isn’t original – stolen from a post I saw on TechCrunch – so what chance do the masses of online companies have to compete for attention and originality in such a short timeframe?
Now I’ll be honest; this post is a bitter response, borne slightly out of frustration. At PushON we had intended to launch our own spoof product, a mix of witty puns and daft marketing concepts which would no doubt have tickled a couple of online marketers for a few minutes. It was fun and we laughed a lot in the planning stages; however when it came to the delivery we were a little stumped. Do we just shout louder or make it more ridiculous to get some attention? Any product launch on the morning of April 1st is likely to be as unnoticed as anyone claiming to have had a one line cameo at the end of the 1960 film Spartacus. Only Amazon has recently managed to break through the internet joke noise with their drones story before Christmas.
April Fool’s Day 2014 will be buried in the archives of time as a day of smells (because this is the only technological advancement companies could imagine) and selfies (because seemingly no one’s sick of these, yet).
For me the biggest flop of the day award goes to Gmail for Shelfies, not least because they tried to claim credit for creating the whole concept of selfies, but the fact they borrowed pointless references all across their announcement. They didn’t even try and explain how it was linked to the unoriginal point of the decreasing number of pirates. Oh, and it looked rubbish.
— Gmail (@gmail) April 1, 2014
At least it couldn’t get worse than a selfie, surely? Apparently so.
Is Hasselhoff still the go-to guy for memes?? Moving on…
The rest of the day stank. Scratch and sniff stickers may have been a big deal when they were invented back in the 1960s but is this really the technology that the world is waiting for? Neither of these warrants any commentary.
— Pebble Developers (@PebbleDev) April 1, 2014
— Andrew Bloch (@AndrewBloch) April 1, 2014
Oh, and a notable mention to the National Trust who added a dedicated email to their post (just to avoid any confusion).
— National Trust (@nationaltrust) April 1, 2014
At least the groaning responses were directed to their Scone Pinterest board and the more useful article on spring cleaning your mansion or castle. Surely they could have at least found room for a related pun? No, it’s scone.
Although I’ve already awarded Gmail the flop-of-the-day award I must also add a further mention to Tesco who were literally twice as bad as any of the selfie spoofs.
— Tesco (@Tesco) April 1, 2014
Tesco was another brand who helped us out by revealing their mischief at noon; more shocking was the fact it was based on their genuine tablet product, Hudl. Who knew?
The point I haven’t even really expanded on is the efforts that some companies went to in order to really convince people that their jokes were genuine. It almost feels like the less believable a concept, the more work the company puts into marketing it, as if this would add more credibility or laughs. Just imagine if this effort was put into marketing campaigns that last more than a day or two. I’m not completely slating the efforts; some did make me smile (honestly), but for a day that means nothing to anyone, the internet has really become a little too obsessed. One of the worst things to come out of it is that I’m not even sure if Nuts magazine is closing down for real or not!
So to get you through any jokes that might still be lingering, as well as the countless round-ups, here’s the most useful April Fool’s post of the day.
— Tango (@DrinkTango) April 1, 2014
Now excuse me whilst I go dream up something quirky for the next big day of the year.