|Timing is Everything: April Fools'?
By: Kim Orchen Cooper
The origins of April Fools’ Day are unclear, yet it remains a time-honored tradition. After all, a sense of humor is key in almost every relationship. When it comes to branding, businesses navigate a fine line between what’s acceptable to their customer base and what’s consistent with their messaging. April Fools’ Day is the one shot each year for otherwise serious brands to make a joke without making a joke of themselves. And in our transmedia world, to where do these one-time-only offerings disappear? In anticipation of what’s in store this week, here are a few recent favorites:
Richard Branson bought Pluto, reinstated it as a planet. That’s a Virginal experience.
Groupon offered tickets to the Royal Wedding, including after-party entry. Wondering how many vouchers they made available?
Kodak introduced an app, Relationshiffft, to remove exes from photos. What a difference a year makes. Maybe an app to convert silver emulsion to pixels?
Google changed its name to Topeka. But only after Topeka changed its name to Google. Neither is apparently in Kansas, not anymore.
BMW presented alternative color badges to reflect political party preferences (in the UK). Hey, it’s an election year — why not a repeat performance with a green choice thrown in?
Hulu travelled back to the 80s. Ah, longing for the days when TV was only available…on TV.
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