Laughter is the Best Medicine: Incorporating Humour Into Marketing Campaigns
In today’s fast-paced, meme-infused world, a dull, lacklustre brand persona just doesn’t cut it. To truly stand out, you need to tickle your customers’ funny bones, whether it’s through witty social media content, meme-worthy ad campaigns, or the occasional self-deprecating joke.
Laughter is contagious, and it brings people together. It’s the ultimate icebreaker, and it can foster a sense of camaraderie that transcends traditional marketing. Brands that show their funny side create a buzz and get people talking. Plus, who wouldn’t want to buy from a brand that makes them laugh?
April Fools’ Day: A Golden Opportunity for Buzz
Now, let’s talk about one of the most fun-filled days of the year: April Fools’ Day! This day is a playground for brands that love to make their audience chuckle, and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase your lighter side and establish a deeper connection with your customers.
If you’re looking for a few more reasons why, we’ve got you covered!
Expectations are on your side
On April Fools’ Day, everyone is on the lookout for a good laugh, making it the perfect time to flex your comedic muscles. People are expecting the unexpected, and they’re more likely to forgive a brand that pushes the envelope.
A hilarious April Fools’ prank has the potential to go viral, earning you a tidal wave of free publicity, shares, and likes. Just think of all the exposure you’ll get when your prank is shared across the globe – and with social media, the potential for virality is even bigger than ever!
A clever, well-executed prank will make your brand memorable. Your audience will appreciate your sense of humour, and they’ll associate your brand with good times and positive emotions.
Now that you’re armed with all the knowledge you need to pull off a successful April Fools’ Day campaign, it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and start planning your next smash hit!
Brands That Aced April Fools’ in 2023
Although all these brands took a different approach to April Fools’ Day marketing this year, they all have one thing in common: they made people laugh – and talk. Take a read through some of our favourites and see why!
Let’s be real, language learning app, Duolingo wouldn’t be where it is today without its hilarious social media presence – and its latest social media stunt proves that.
Streaming service, Peacock and Duolingo teamed up to announce a new show called Love Language. Picture this: ten flirty, attractive singles from all over the world living together in a lavish house, searching for true love. The catch? They don’t speak the same language!
But here’s the thing, the only real part of this show is the trailer, which you can find on the Peacock and Duolingo apps and on social media. The fake dating show works like this: the hot contestants have to take daily Duolingo lessons and find their match by the end of each episode—or they’ll be kicked out by the show’s infamous host and unforgiving judge, Duo the Owl.
And to make the joke even better, the “Love Language” trailer features Francesca Farago (you know, from Netflix’s reality dating shows “Love Is Blind,” “Too Hot to Handle,” and “Perfect Match” with a cool 6.1 million Instagram followers). No big deal.
This pretend show (which many of us would love to watch, myself included!) did have some real business goals, though. As part of the “Love Language” promo, eligible users could score 50% off three months of Peacock Premium (just a one-time payment of $7.49 USD) until April 19. The ad-supported version usually goes for $4.99 USD/month. And while you’re at it, you can also snag a free month of the Super Duolingo service (which typically costs $12.99 USD/month).
Fans of Selena Gomez’s makeup brand, Rare Beauty, have come to know that the best-selling ‘Soft Pinch Liquid Blush’ is ultra pigmented. So pigmented, that just a tiny dot of the product is all you need to give your face a rosy glow.
As a nod to the iconic blush bottle that seems to last forever, Rare Beauty posted a commercial for their ‘new’ jumbo-sized Soft Pink Liquid Blush. It was full of sarcastic jokes addressing complaints that the original blush runs out too quickly, which, according to social media, seems quite the opposite to reality.
The video was bound to bring on the laughs as it showed side by side comparisons of the jumbo and regular-sized blush bottle, as well as a clip of an actor struggling to hold the freakishly large blush bottle.
The marketing team at Rare Beauty epitomised the mantra of ‘go big or go home’, even adding the jumbo product to the website as a sold out item. Talk about commitment! We also love how the team posted separate Behind the Scenes videos to show the audience how the commercial was actually made. One of the Behind the Scenes videos even managed to get a massive 1.1 MILLION likes on TikTok, proving how successful Rare Beauty’s April Fools’ commercial was.
Ah, Tinder, it’s the online dating app many of us know and love (or maybe hate?).
Sure, some of us may have found our partners on there in a successful Tinderella story, but the rest of us have gotten the ‘ick’ from more users than we can count.
One of these universal icks seems to be the infamous fishing picture featured on many profiles – and the platform itself seems to have caught on!
As part of its April Fools’ campaign, Tinder posted a graphic with a man holding a fish stating that “Tinder will immediately remove all fish pics from member profiles. The app will be Fish Free within 24 hours.”
It’s too bad this initiative didn’t end up happening, because people seemed to be pretty keen in the comments!
The Heinz marketing seems to have been busy all around the world, launching separate comedic campaigns for different markets.
Heinz Australia made life a bit more punny, announcing the launch of the ‘limited edition’ Heinz Beanz Bag. It was promoted as a “comfortable seating solution to sink into whilst enjoying your beanz.” Well played.
In an unexpected twist to their marketing game, Heinz Brazil unveiled plans for a new red tattoo pigment. With recent health concerns surrounding coloured tattoo inks, the EU even banned 4,000 chemicals commonly found in them last year. Among these, red ink was identified as the most likely to cause allergic reactions.
The quirky connection between Heinz and the tattoo world began when Ed Sheeran’s tattoo of the brand’s label turned heads back in 2019. The tomato sauce enthusiast later starred in a Heinz commercial and even inspired a limited-edition line of Sheeran-themed sauces.
Heinz label tattoos have since gained traction, especially in Brazil, where this creative campaign was born. What sets this campaign apart is that Heinz seems to plan on actually following through with the idea, teaming up with established ink manufacturer, Electric Ink.
Tips for a Successful April Fools’ Campaign
Even though April Fools’ just passed, it’s never too early to start brainstorming for next year!
Now that we’ve established why brands should show their funny side and why April Fools’ is a golden opportunity to do so, let’s talk about how to pull off a successful prank:
Know your audience
It’s crucial to know what makes your audience laugh, and more importantly, what might offend them. Keep your prank on-brand, and ensure it resonates with your target demographic.
Timing is everything
Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your prank. Give yourself ample time to brainstorm, execute, and perfect your joke. The best pranks are carefully orchestrated and well-thought-out.
Make it shareable
The goal of any campaign is to get people talking, right? So make sure your prank is easily shareable on social media. If it’s a video, keep it short and sweet. If it’s an image, make it eye-catching and relatable.
Don’t forget the reveal
It’s important to eventually reveal that your prank was just that—a prank. You don’t want to leave your audience confused or, worse, feeling deceived. Wrap up your joke with a lighthearted message that lets everyone in on the fun. Or you could even go Rare Beauty-style and share Behind the Scenes videos!
Turning Up the Fun Factor and Reaping the Rewards
By now, you probably see that it’s totally worth it for brands to let loose and have some fun with their audience every now and then. Engaging campaigns with a funny, light-hearted twist not only grab attention, but also help create memorable connections with your target market.
So, if you’re looking to spice up your brand’s strategy and need a little help in the fun department, check out First Page – the social media agency that knows how to unleash your brand’s playful side.
You don’t even have to wait till April Fools’ to give us a go. A good laugh is welcome, all year round, so contact us today!