April Fools Pranks are Not Good Marketing Strategy
I get it. Working in marketing can be boring as hell; tried and true works, but we all want to innovate and stretch our legs sometimes. The temptation to write a goofy April Fools joke is strong. But do not give into this temptation, I say, the Slayer of Fun Things and Goofy Ideas.
I think it’s a terrible strategy that is pretty much lose-lose 90% of the time. Internet veterans are tired of dishonesty, even when the point is humor. The best you can hope for is a chuckle. The typical response is mostly a groan and an eye-roll. And what if you do pull one over on some of your customers? Which, no matter how ridiculous you think you’re being, you’re going to do?
Then you made a customer feel like a fool. That’s the point, right? Well, there’s a chance that they’ll take it in good stride. It might also leave them with a bad taste in their mouth in regards to your business. That’s what I hear they call an unforced error in sportsball. It’s hard enough to earn customer respect and trust in this era – it’s not a currency worth burning for some chuckles.
There is an exception to this rule which is an April Fools joke that you follow through on. An example of this was the Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon game. Announce a silly product and actually release it? That is the one way that I think takes advantage of the whole fauxliday (fail-i-day?) and turns it into an actual marketing advantage.
The rest is just too played out or exhausting to contemplate. No matter how bored we are with writing yet another opt-in marketing newsletter.