Brand Foolery: How To Pull Off a Memorable April Fools’ Day Campaign

March 27, 2024

Brand Foolery: How To Pull Off a Memorable April Fools’ Day Campaign 

April 1st is always a fun day on social media with brands and businesses joining in on the pranks to give us a good chuckle. Not only is April Fools’ a great opportunity to engage in unique campaigns that drive virality, it’s a great time to connect with audiences in a memorable way. But what exactly is the secret sauce to a good April Fools’ campaign? We’ve picked a few examples for you to take inspiration from, and dissected the variables that make these campaigns a real rib-tickler. 



Have you ever felt guilty from skipping your Duolingo lessons? In this campaign, Duolingo introduced Duolingo Push where they took their famously persistent approach up a notch by giving users a not-so-subtle (and borderline ominous) reminder to take their daily lessons and literally pop out from their phone. This campaign went viral online thanks to their boldness to poke fun at themselves and embracing memes. It ended up becoming the best-performing social posts in Duolingo’s history. 


Amazon Echo “Petlexa” 

What are our pets up to when we’re not home? All sorts of things, apparently. In Amazon’s 2020 April Fools’ campaign, we see Petlexa in action – the pet version of Alexa where each squeak, bark, and meow can order food, place orders in marketplace, and even activate automatic ball throwers! This quirky idea tapped into the love for both technology and pets, creating buzz around Amazon’s products in a fun way. 


Logitech Hamsters 

According to Logitech, calling your mouse a mouse is so 1999. So, in their 2019 April Fools’ campaign, the company decided to do a rebrand and declared all wireless mice are now called “hamsters” due to their lack of “tail”. This campaign in particular was a clever move by Logitech as they launch their new line of mouse (or hamsters?) called The MX Hamsters – which executes a new product launch and April Fool’s campaign in one fell swoop. 


Subway Sub-dog 

What’s Sub-Dog? Not much, and you? (Sorry, we can’t help ourselves!) 

In 2022, The famous sandwich chain pranked their audience by announcing the Sub-Dog – a footlog classic American-style hotdog. The mouth-watering menu ignited the imagination of so many people and one customer stated that if the Sub-Dog wasn’t real, he will never eat at Subway again. As a result, Subway Australia decided to introduce the product for a limited time – showing that their ability to listen and deliver turned an April Fool’s prank into a viral success. 


What Can We Learn? 

In order to hit the sweet spot in an April Fools’ marketing campaign, a balance between creativity, humour, and brand alignment is a must. From what we learn from other brands, we can conclude that coming up with a unique campaign that stands out is crucial.  

Furthermore, it’s important to strike the right tone when it comes to April Fools’ humour to avoid backlash – and the way to do that is aligning humour with the brand itself. By incorporating brand elements into the campaign – such as memes or running jokes among users – identity is reinforced while still fully engaging with April Fools’ day spirit and encouraging participation from consumers.