Companies

Brands get funny on April Fools’ Day with engaging gags

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on April 02, 2021

After staying quiet last year, marketers lighten the mood with creative pranks

Volkswagen’s April Fools’ Day prank of rebranding itself as ‘Voltswagen’ in the US may have skidded off the roads after leaking three days before the actual date, but India’s largest e-commerce marketplace Flipkart and global mobility platform Ola struck gold with their pranks on April 1, with foolproof teasers a day earlier.

Future shock

“What flies on the road and drives in the air? Find out tomorrow!” tweeted Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of Ola on Wednesday along with a slow motion video of a batmobile-look alike that garnered 9.4K views, 519 likes, 57 retweets and 42 responses. Aggarwal kept the suspense going until a little past noon on April 1, when he tweeted, “Excited to unveil the world’s first and only fully autonomous electric flying car. The Ola AirPro. Ab har family bharegi udaan. Test flights now at OlaAirPro #TheFutureIsHere.”

Ola is an old pro at gags. In 2019, its mobile restroom video on April Fools’ Day went viral on social media. But the prank turned out to be real as Ola announced a nationwide crowd-funding campaign to build toilets for over 20,000 people across India in partnership with Gramalaya.

After being quiet last year, when the world was grappling with the deadly pandemic, marketers are back in full form this year with engaging gags and spoofs.

Flipkart sent out an April Fools’ Day teaser tweet late last night, proclaiming: “The future is here. We now accept Bitcoin as a convenient mode of payment. Update your app now.” Three hours later Flipkart followed up with a reply to its teaser tweet: “Bitcoin Supercoin*Oops with a winky emoji #AprilFoolsDay.”

A burst of Matchmaking

Sleep and home solutions brand Wakefit teamed up with well-known prankster Cyrus Broacha noted for his Bakra show to pull gags on auto-walas. He would accost them on the street and he tries to load a Wakefit mattress into their vehicles promising to pay double fare. A host of brands tied people up in knots over their matchmaking pranks. Upskilling platform Scaler sent out a press release stating it had acquired FAANGShaadi.com, a premium matrimonial website exclusively for software engineers working with top tech companies (FAANG – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google).

Food delivery platform Zomato introduced Foodiebae, a dating app that promises to find the bhatura to your chole, the pav to your bhaji. It may be recalled that Zomato started off as FoodieBay.com and later rebranded to Zomato.

Zolo, a co-living spaces provider, launched a fake matchmaking service ‘Zinder’ for its residents which promises them one match a day with 62 per cent success rate at finding the right one.

Published on April 01, 2021

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