Everyone loves a practical joke, right? As long as you’re not on the receiving end, if they’re done well and planned thoroughly, they can be a hoot. As students, we’re probably the best people in the world at pulling off an outrageous prank, but it seems that corporations are trying to steal our thunder!
The font of all knowledge
It’s well-known that Comic Sans is the most unpopular font around, something the people at Google know all too well. However, as a wheeze for April Fools’ Day two years ago, they decided to the dreaded font for all its pages as part of its ‘Comic Sans for Everyone’ extension for Chrome. Funny if you have a friend who hates that particular typeface.
Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson loves to make a bold gesture, and what could be bolder than buying an entire planet. In 2011, a vintage year for April Fools’ pranks, Sir Richard announced that he wanted to buy Pluto as part of his plans to make space exploration more accessible. It almost worked!
Park like the Pope!
Used car site VCARS jumped on the news that Pope Benedict resigned from his post. As well as leaving a vacancy at the Vatican, the fate of the popemobile was also unknown. Advertising it for sale is pure comic genius, but would you pay that much for a car like that? Not sure that we would.
Just to see what they could get away with, Esquire magazine decided to push a new ‘star’ on the front cover of its November 1996 edition. They said ‘forget Gwyneth, forget Mira’ before talking up Allegra Coleman, a fake actress rumoured to be dating David Schwimmer and Quentin Tarantino. Alas, everyone got in on the joke, and the actress who played Allegra went on to appear in Heroes!
Never Gonna Give YouTube Up
Remember ‘Rick-rolling’? This was arguably the finest corporate prank ever pulled by YouTube. For a little while in 2008, every video on the site linked to a clip of Rick Astley’s cheesy video for his only hit ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’. We laughed at first but it soon became annoying.