No Kidding: How Brands can Execute a Strategic April Fools’ Day
But what if it doesn’t always make sense? While we’d all love to get involved in the fun, approaching April Fools’ Day with the same keen eye as our ongoing PR/Marketing strategies is key to success. Read on for some brand considerations as we approach the start of April (and we promise we’re serious about these suggestions - no April Fools here):
Determine if April Fools is on brand or not
First things first: what is your brand’s priority message/content the remaining 364 days a year? If it’s humorous and leads with an edge, this may be the holiday for you. But if your brand tone tends to be more serious in nature, shy away from activating on April Fools. Otherwise, your users, readers and followers may take your prank seriously - and this can lead to long-term misconceptions, or worse, brand mistrust.
Be turnkey in your approach
If April Fools’ is a fit for your brand, be clever and quick in your activation - but don’t leave your audiences guessing for too long. April Fools’ Day is often a crowded moment, and it doesn’t usually drive lasting headlines.
Because of this, a simple-to-execute, low-budget approach is often the right route to take. You also want your April Fools’ Day offering to be easy enough to understand; if it takes too long for consumers to grasp, the lighthearted moment will be lost, and in turn, so will your chances at making it into stories/social reshares.
Bring inclusivity and thoughtfulness to the forefront
Having fun is important, but even more important is showing everyone in your audience that you care. This means regardless of what you do on April Fools’ Day - whether it be a stunt, announcement or something else - your brand’s activity should resonate with people from all backgrounds. Take time to truly understand each of your audiences before any execution, and always be mindful in your tone.
It’s also crucial to think about the ultimate impact your April Fools’ Day idea will have on various audiences. If the end result will match your intentions and keep up brand love, then it’s likely a smart campaign.
Have your brand spokespeople ready
If you’re going to take a fun - and of course temporary - brand stance, ensure your key spokespeople are ready to back it up. Reporters may have questions (e.g., how your brand came up with the idea, if this may actually be the future of your company, etc.), so make sure your reps are fully in the loop with your plans and peppered with responses. It’s also a chance to show off your executives’ personalities - and build even more brand love.
Lead with integration every step of the way
If you’re going to engage on April Fools’ Day - really go for it. Today, consumers likely absorb your brand via website, social, blog and other platforms - and this means they’re keyed into your every move. It’s no longer enough to simply revamp your logo to a cheekier version on 1 April and share it on your webpage; instead, it must come through on all of your channels. If your content is creative, valuable and - most importantly - consistent, you’ll get attention from current fans, new potential customers and beyond.
Of course, it goes without saying any campaign should also tie in to the newest trends, as this opens the door to naturally fitting in current conversations. If your brand is tuned into the latest culture happenings - and follows the steps above - then you and your audience will have a great April Fools with plenty of laughs along the way.
Taylor is a senior account director in Allison+Partners London office. She has more than seven years of international PR experience and enjoys working daily on strategic efforts for clients, including developing and executing thoughtful brand plans, campaigns, events and media relations programmes that garner significant increased company awareness. Her experience ranges across a variety of consumer brands, including in the luxury lifestyle, food, health/wellness, beauty, fashion and automotive industries.Category: Integrated Marketing