Monday is April Fools’ Day, but the sophomoric pranks, once the purview of kids, have been replaced with elaborate gags, crafted by professionals.
Major corporations from Netflix, Burger King and Lyft to Warby Parker, T-Mobile and W Hotels now enjoy having a bit of fun on the traditional day of jokes. They conceive of, craft and execute complicated stunts that would make Ashton Kutcher proud.
Sometimes, people really fall for the outlandish pranks.
The gags are all in good fun.
Or are they?
“It gets people talking. Brands benefit if they’re top-of-mind,” said Deb Gabor, CEO of Austin-based Sol Marketing, explaining that that increases the likelihood people will spend money on the company’s products or services. “All of a sudden, you’re part of the conversation. It enters a consumer’s brain.”
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Plus, a well-done April Fools’ Day joke is an easy way to have some lighthearted, positive fun with a brand’s target audience and the public at large.
“It shows the humanity. It shows you’re not all-business-all-the-time,” Gabor said.
Can you tell the difference between jokes designed by real businesses and those a USA TODAY reporter dreamed up?
Try your luck here:
Can you guess the real promotion?: Another way to take our quiz
Follow USA TODAY reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer