Features

April Fool 2017: Ikea airline, Mia Freedwoman, Kochie in the slammer, tattoo spellcheck, bacon alarms

It's the day that brands have woken up to as a way of generating some easy media coverage. Below - in a post being updated throughout the day - we round up 2017's best efforts. Feel free to let us know any we've missed in the comment section

Ikea launches its low cost airline, FLIKEA

With non-stop flights between Sweden and Australia, meatballs for passengers, and of course Ikea footstools in economy, the new FLIKEA airline is a tad too good to be true.

According to the Facebook post:

We’re taking to the skies with the launch of a low-cost airline: FLIKEA!

We’re thrilled to announce plans to launch our own airline in 2019. FLIKEA will be a single-class, low-cost carrier that will travel to may international destinations, and will include the world’s first non-stop flight from Sweden to Australia.

The airline will utilise the five dimensions of Democratic Design unique to IKEA – exceptional form, quality, sustainability, function and price – to reduce aircraft weight and fuel requirements, resulting in a dramatically reduced transit time, lower ticket price, and cutting out the need for any stopovers.

New awards-focused agency that only makes work for Snapchat

The new independent Singapore agency Macs (work out the anagram for yourself) has an awards-friendly business model. According to Mumbrella’s sister title Mumbrella Asia:

New independent Singaporean agency Macs is to launch soon, having revealed its intention to put its entire media budget into ‘millennials’ social network Snapchat. In an exclusive interview with Mumbrella Asia, it claimed the move could be an “industry game-changer”.

The full-service agency claims the platform is the “only viable medium” able to reach the smartphone generation.

Macs managing director Ian Savage, said: “It’s clear that the younger consumer engages with us predominantly on mobile platforms. We knew that only an independent would really get this and that was the catalyst for us to form the agency; we knew none of the big boys would be brave enough to take the plunge and focus only on one medium.”

Mark Latham’s new Free Speech Commissioner role

The New Daily Reports that fresh from getting sacked by Sky News, outspoken ex-politico Mark Latham is now the country’s official defender of free speech:

In an extraordinary response to its 18C defeat in a hostile Senate, the Turnbull Government has appointed loud-mouthed former Labor leader Mark Latham as Australia’s first-ever Free Speech Commissioner.

The controversial appointment comes just days after Mr Latham’s sacking by a cable news channel for making a series of offensive on-air comments about fellow presenters, ABC broadcaster Wendy Harmer and a Sydney schoolboy.

The move to create the new Free Speech office is a direct response to what the government sees as their “mistreatment” by the Senate and Mr Latham’s “harsh treatment” by Sky News.

Sunrise host locked up by US authorities

Sunrise host David Koch has been locked up in Honolulu over visa irregularities, reports TV Tonight.

According to the TV blog:

Last night lawyers for Seven were scrambling calls to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and the US Embassy to try to free Koch. Seven’s top brass, already in damage control over several legal cases on home turf, were privately hoping the drama “did not turn into our 60 Minutes.”

“Contingency plans are being put into place. Larry Emdur is en route as we speak,” a source said. “Thankfully he wasn’t invited to Peter Stefanovic & Sylvia Jeffreys’ wedding and jumped on a plane.”

Calls to influential Sunrise pals Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Sia went unanswered, although Lynne McGranger offered to help.

Meanwhile Sam Armytage has taken to wearing a hessian sack and chaining herself to Nelson Aspen, in sympathy for her colleague.

“Free Kochie now or I will be forced to reprise my Sex and the City sketch!” she demanded.

Tattoo spell checker

Travel Insurance Direct has launched a new app aimed at helping holidaying Australians avoid typos on their tattoos.

The press release:

With an alarming rise in ‘tattoo fails’ among Aussie travellers abroad, travel safety experts, Travel Insurance Direct, are launching an innovative new App, ahead of the peak holiday season.

The ‘TID: We’ve Got Your Back’ App is a free tattoo spell checker. Ahead of the tatt-seeking traveller getting inked, the App will simply scans the artist’s flash-sheet to reveal any pesky tattoo typos among English, Thai and Indonesian characters, ensuring they aren’t scarred for life.

Australian holidaymaker, Jack King, 26 from Perth says: “I had such an awesome time travelling in Thailand that I wanted to get my own name inked in the local language as a keepsake. But when I got home, my Thai mate told me that instead of saying ‘Jack’, the tat actually says ‘jerk’. My mates think they misheard me because of my accent. They haven’t stopped laughing at me since.”

Deliveroo’s sky-diving Extreme Delivery

Deliveroo will now deliver to remote beaches by using skydivers

From the press release:

After almost two years in the making, today marks the launch of Deliveroo Extreme Delivery, the innovative new concept taking the food delivery industry to all new heights – quite literally!

The Deliveroo Extreme Delivery concept engages skydivers rather than bike riders, allowing deliveries to be dropped to a much broader location base. For the purpose of the Extreme Delivery pilot scheme, Deliveroo has partnered with Melbourne-based phenomenon, Huxtaburger, delivering its mouth-watering burgers to locations off the beaten track, traditionally considered unreachable or outside the bike-fleet delivery zone.

Honda’s horn emojis for every emotion

Travelodge bacon alarm clocks

April Fools Travelodge

From the press release:

Rise & Sizzle! Travelodge is launching an innovative anti-snooze service for its sleepy guests at airporthotels. The pleasant Whiff & Wake Service will see the sweet smell of frying bacon being wafted in the room to help get guests out of bed.

A first for an Australian hotel, the service is being launched due to an increasing number of airport hotel guests reporting sleeping through their snooze, thus near-missing their flights.

With the sizzling smell of bacon deemed a mouth-watering motivator to throw back the overs, Travelodge has partnered with global innovators, Sensorwake to be the first hotel in the country to offer their world-famous scented alarm clock.

For those preferring bacon over beeping, all guests have to do is programme the clock with the time they want to wake up and it will automatically release the smell of bacon, which gently wafts over the guests rousing them from sleep within two minutes with the delicious, sizzling smell.

Mark Ritson’s new gig

Advertising publication reports that digital sceptic Prof Mark Ritson is the new MD of Facebook Australia.

It quotes him as saying: “I talked it over with a lot of people in the industry and then, crucially, looked at the data Facebook showed me about the salary and benefits package, which I was assured had been inflated, and almost immediately thought ‘yup, this will do’.”

Melbourne CBD daylight savings

The Herald Sun reports that Melbourne’s Lord Mayor Robert Doyle has unveiled plans to retain daylight savings only in the city’s CBD to boost business.

Money-printing smartphone

ING Direct has revealed the iTM, a smartphone that is able to print money on demand.

From the press release:

Saturday 1 April, 2017: ING DIRECT has today unveiled a prototype of the iTM, a smartphone that utilises the latest in 3D printing technology to print cash notes on demand.

A world first, the design is set to transform how Orange Everyday customers access their money by providing them with an easy and secure means of withdrawing funds that’s fast, convenient and most importantly, right at their fingertips.

The iTM prototype is the result of a yearlong collaboration between the ING DIRECT innovation team, technology and 3D printing experts who have tried and tested all aspects of the new technology. The result is a carefully designed product that offers customers a reliable cash withdrawal experience with unprecedented convenience.

And just to prove how much fun the risk-management people at banks must be for communications teams to deal with, the press release concludes: “Notes to editors: *The iTM prototype is fiction. This press release has been created for April Fools’ purposes only.”

Mamamia founder Mia Freedman changes her name for feminism

From Mamamia:

Ten years on from launching, Mamamia co-founder and creative director Mia Freedman has announced plans to change her surname, citing personal and professional reasons for the move.

“Don’t get me wrong, my name and I have had some pretty good adventures together over the years,” Freedman said. “I’ve forged my career with it, had it plastered on book covers, and even allowed it to appear on television screens in front of my face from time to time. And for quite a while, I never really thought much about it. After all, what’s in a name other than licences, bills and tax returns, right?”

“But recently, almost completely out of nowhere, I had a lightning bolt realisation about my name. We launched Mamamia from my loungeroom with the aim of making a difference in women’s lives. To create a stronger and more visible representation for women, by women.  And yet here I am with the word ‘man’ in my very own name,” she said.

“I’m sure there will be people out there who find this over the top or a step too far in feminism,” Freedman said. “But hey, as soon as the paperwork goes through, I really am a freed woman, in name and spirit!”

So, formally, we’d like to introduce you to Mamamia’s co-founder and creative director.

Mia Freedwoman.

Dropbears in Sydney

The following warning comes from Centennial Parklands, via Twitter:

Captain Risky: The energy drink

Budget Direct’s danger-loving alter-ego Captain Risky has launched new energy drink Kick & Rip It

World’s first oat powered batteries from Uncle Tobys

From the press release:

UNCLE TOBYS, Australia’s most popular brand of oats, has today launched ‘O Energy’ Oat batteries, an innovation that will transform the energy industry as the world’s first renewable batteries powered entirely by oats.

For over a century, UNCLE TOBYS has been harnessing the energy of 100% Australian-grown oats to power Australia throughout the day. Recognising the natural benefits of oats, the UNCLE TOBYS team discovered the breakthrough battery power of oats in 2016, while working with leading energy scientists from around the world.

Contiki’s robot tour guide

(The video is worth watching to the last two seconds.)

Audible’s scent-creating book reading mobile plug-in

Audio book Audible says it is offering the Tap & Sniff mobile plug-in.

From the press release:

Audible.com.au today announces the release of its latest product offering, Tap & Sniff, a world-first mobile plug-in device that dispenses scents matched to the scene of your audiobook; allowing listeners to go on a sensory journey to experience freshly baked cookies on the counters of a kitchen, the musty halls of a wizarding school or the woody forests of fantasy Middle-earth.

Developed in Australia by Audible’s Innovation Lab, the Tap & Sniff detachable device omits a variety of floral, woody, oriental and fresh scents that have been carefully blended by a group of Fragrance Chemists, to reflect the chapters in each new release audiobook.

This first-to-market product was developed in response to research that revealed scents are important for Aussie readers, with two thirds (66 per cent) of digitally-engaged Australians saying they like the smell of books.

Bunny bank

St George Bank is introducing bunny branches to compete with cat cafes.

eHarmony’s magnetic attraction between phones

Dating site eHarmony announces a new app which drags compatible users’ phones together by making them magnetically attracted to each other.


From the press release:

This Saturday, 1 April, 2017, one of Australia’s most-trusted dating sites eHarmony announced via its’ social channels a powerful new feature of “magnetism” to its’ dating app. The feature will bring a whole new meaning to the laws of attraction, quite literally dragging you and your perfect match together in the real world, by turning your eHarmony app on your phone into an incredibly strong magnet.

eHarmony Australia’s managing director, Nicole McInnes, explains: “Instant magnetism is so essential to finding love, we thought we’d cut out the talk and just add it directly to the eHarmony app. It works really simply: when the feature is turned on, a powerful force draws together the phones of two people that are highly compatible, making it impossible for them not to meet.”

ME Bank’s cashback on sausage sizzles

ME Bank encourages customers using its new card to tap it on a sausage and get their money back.

From the press release:

ME today launched Snag™, a new debit card that reimburses customers on sausage sizzle purchases.

The bank has released the card in honour of the humble Aussie snag – a national icon and the taste of Australian democracy.

The new card is fitted with cutting-edge SmellWave™ technology that automatically detects the aroma of freshly cooked snags, so customers only need to tap the card on a sausage and $2.50 is deposited in their account.

The card is styled in BBQ-brown and comes with a bread-textured phone case.

9Honey’s honey

9Honey has launched 9Honey Honey.

Er, that’s the whole joke….

Child-powered home energy production

Online retailer CupoNation has revealed The Child Wheel.

april fools cuponation child wheel

From CupoNation:

  • The Child Wheel produces green, clean energy for your household when your child runs inside of it.

  • The stronger your child becomes, the more you save energy.

  • The Child Wheel cuts your electricity bill in half.

  • Municipalities can buy several wheels, place them on playgrounds next to parking spaces and charge electric cars for free.

Guardian – badger buries cow

The Guardian says it has footage of a badger burying a cow to keep its body for steak. (We’re actually not completely sure if this one is a joke or not)

Food delivery in space

From Foodora’s press release:

Global food delivery service phenomenon, Foodora, has just announced, what has up until now remained a closely guarded secret, that it is currently in the process of developing highly advanced in-flight space delivery food.

Iconic films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Martian, and Alien gave us all a pretty good idea that the food in Space isn’t exactly desirable…. unless of course freeze dried vegetables and vacuum packed treats are your thing!

Foodora is currently looking for a space mission partner, so it can showcase what it’s hailing as a first of its kind in-flight galactic menu.

The forward-thinking company has been working on initial prototype food samples with some of its popular restaurant partners, including: Luke Mangan’s Chicken Confidential, N2 Gelato and Mad Mex, to construct a delectable menu.

WotIf’s coriander-themed hotel

Travel site Wotif claims to be offering stays at Hoel Coriander.

From the site:

It’s always exciting when the things you love come together. And what two things are more universally loved than holidays and coriander?

Introducing the brand-new Hotel Coriander – an ‘all-things-cilantro’ hotel experience with great big bunches of WOW factor.

Your new favourite hotel has everything to make your green dreams come true: luxurious coriander toiletries, blissful coriander baths, sensual coriander massage, an all-coriander room service menu, a Coriander Kidz Zone for little cilantro lovers, and even a real coriander forest!

Infinity Squared’s new branding

Content company Infinity Squared is rebranding with its new brand based around the much-hated Papyrus hieroglyph font.

infinity squared april fools papyrus

From the Infinity Squared announcement:

Says Infinity Squared’s David Jansen, Founder / EP: “We no longer want to be constrained by people’s preconceptions of what we do.

“Sometimes you have to get back to basics and sometimes you have to not do that. In this instance, we are not doing that.”

The new look is a homage to the ancient Egyptians who Jansen refers to as “… the original kings of content…”

“Just look at hieroglyphs: the Ancient Egyptians didn’t rely on a binary worldview, their pictographs embraced complexity, and their ability to communicate through story and images is still relevant today.”

Pizza prank

Epic Pizza in Sydney fooled drivers into thinking they had picked up a parking ticket, but instead gave a voucher for a free slice of pizza

(Source: Reddit)

Track-free trains

The Public Transport Users Association has published news of track-free airport trains.

The fitness tracker for toilet habits

US toilet paper brand Great Northern has announced uSit – the fitness tracker for bathroom habits

Burger King’s Whopper-flavoured toothpaste

Napping at the library

Snoozing at University of Sydney Library is now available via Airbnb

Infiniti’s new chatbot

In a nod to just how awful brand chatbots are so far, Aussie telco Infiniti has announced its own version to replace overseas call centres

All Blacks babies

SMH columnist Peter FitzSimons reports plans for an All Blacks sperm bank to impregnate Kiwi women undergoing IVF with the next generation of players.

Q&A moves to Seven with Pete Evans as host

Nine Network’s youth website Pedestrian TV reports:

With My Kitchen Rules flagging in the ratings this year, Channel 7 has made an aggressive bid to get back on top, acquiring the rights to long-running panel show Q&A from the ABC.

Their revamped version of the series will see host Tony Jones dumped and replaced by network golden boy Pete Evans, who will cast his unblinking gaze on the topics that really matter to Australians today.

The first panel will include Seafood King Josh Meeuwissen, Evans’ personal shaman, a lady from Perth who runs an anti-fluoride group on Facebook, and David Leyonhjelm.

Electronic assistant for pets

Amazon Alexa now understands pets

Wizard school

University of Melbourne has launched the Melbourne School of Witchcraft & Wizadry

Holy cow

For kids who couldn’t get the hang of pony riding, Sydney’s Royal Easter Show will include cow jumping.

From the release:

Cattle will take pride of place in Spotless Stadium Arena at the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show with a new Cow Jumping Competition being launched by The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.

The inspirational Competition puts out a cattle call to all NSW riders who dreamed of owning a pony and found bovine to be the next best thing.

Dairy farmer and competitive cow jumper, Jo King, is excited the fast moo-ving sport will make its debut at Australia’s largest annual ticketed event which attracts 850,000 Showgoers on average annually.
“I’m jumping with joy at this chance to ride my cow Clementine in front of thousands of people,” Ms King said.

Red Balloon experiences

Activity company Red Balloon dusted off its 2011 archives and offered some more “unique experiences” including naked paintball, underwater abseiling and a water tasting masterclass.

Google’s garden assistant

After Google Home, comes Google Gnome. Which gets dark, fast…

Bacon wrap

According to Primo’s Facebook post:

We’re excited to take the wraps off our latest product innovation: Primo Bacon Wrap.

10m of cured and naturally smoked bacon goodness on a convenient, perforated cling roll.

Camouflaged police van

Tasmania Police have a new vehicle.

From their Facebook post:

Today we are very excited to introduce our new dual purpose Community Armed Response Emergency vehicle.

A sister vehicle to our well known Bearcat, the dual functionality of our new CARE BEAR will allow it to be used in a wide range of scenarios from community expos to armed sieges.

Vital in every policing situation, a servery hatch at the side allows for the provision of coffee and donuts.
With the engaging appearance of an ice-cream van to camouflage its military-standard armour, when the going gets tough so does the CARE BEAR.

Audi’s square cup holders for South Australian iced coffee


View Mumbrella’s April Fool highlights from previous years:

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