April Fool’s Day has evolved from a day that kids or even some adults will pull a prank on a friend into a marketing opportunity for many businesses around the world. Pardon the pun, but this is no laughing matter!
Google has done some amazing pranks in the past few years. (Check out other greatpranks businesses have done in the links below) Some of the pranks businesses do look absolutely real and some just make you take a double take. In all of these pranks lies an opportunity.
This is not as much about April Fool’s pranks as it is about utilizing many marketing opportunities throughout the year.
I’ve heard business executives say when ideas come up for marketing in general and especially when it comes to April Fool’s pranks, “we’re not a tech company so we can’t pull that off”, the example being to produce some sort of realistic looking techy application.
How many of those executives asked why Apple made a huge campaign for “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”? I could easily hear an Apple executive saying, “we’re Apple, we produce gadgets, apps, technology; we don’t do things for breast cancer that’s just not our business model or mission”.
Truth is; hindsight is 20/20. I would have thought similarly a number of years ago. Nevertheless, marketing your business has taken to a new level nowadays. Companies and organizations are coming along for the ride for a plethora of causes and events. Imagine how many eyeballs will notice your brand now that you’ve done something for child abuse prevention. Some companies will be more sincere for a cause than others but that shouldn’t hold a company back from promoting a cause which millions do care about and can lead so many new consumers your way. What’s interesting is that if a campaign is done any other time of the year that would make your brand look ridiculous. The same exact campaign can take your brand to a new level when it’s done during its promotional time frame i.e. National Child Abuse Prevention Month which is in April.
Many will ask, “Well, what will we gain from this?” truth is, that has to be weighed out. There’s no denying the amount of opportunity here. Friends recommend others. They may not have a need for your product but they now associate positively with it because you supported a cause that’s close to their hearts.
Yes in online marketing we try very hard to focus on specific and targeted audiences. That’s the whole science of long-tailed search terms. Yet, don’t be blind to the possibilities out there. Like I mentioned earlier, would you say that if you were Apple?
Whether it’s more traffic, eyeballs, mentions and recommendations on social media, actual conversions or improving your online reputation (ORM), there’s a lot to think about here.
So if you’re a small business owner whether in a specific region or you’re a Fortune 500 company executive consider this as an April Fool’s Day lesson. Maybe there are some bandwagons you guys can hop onto throughout the year. Don’t say the word “that cause or time is not our brand”. Yes, be faithful to your brand image, but you never know what will enhance it.
Other companies and pranks:
Some other creative Google Pranks