Features

April Fool roundup 2018: Cardboard credit cards; swimming desks and surviving robot armageddon

Today marks the tenth year Mumbrella has rounded up the best brand and news media April Fool pranks from Australia and around the world. The 2018 crop feature below. Spotted one we've not yet covered? Please tell us in the comment thread.

Swimming desks, naked waxworks and SodaStream’s bathtime brand extension are among the April Fool spoofs  for 2018.

Among those first in with April an April Fool prank – sent out to media under embargo full four days ahead of time is Sea Life Sydney, announcing that after the fad of standing desks, it is giving its staff swimming desks.

“It’s time to bid farewell to standing desks. Humans have a natural affinity to water as it provides a sense of calm and clarity – two sentiments that are vital to productivity and worker satisfaction,” says Richard Dilly, General Manager in the announcement from Sea Life Sydney. “Swimming also builds endurance and cardiovascular fitness while providing an all-over body workout; plus it’s fun! We figured we already have the aquatic resources, so why not test the waters?”

And Merlin Entertainments, which runs both Sea Life and Madame Tussauds has certainly thrown itself into the April Fool spirit.

It’s also behind the following announcement:

Today, Madame Tussauds Sydney is opening its newest experience 50 Shades of Wax. The risqué, adult-only room will reveal what the famous wax figures look like without their clothes on!

Dan Porter, Studios and Operations Manager, Madame Tussauds Sydney said the decision to open the new adult only zone was made as a result of suggestive questions from guests. “We lose count of how many people ask us if the wax figures are made to scale and if all the measurements were correct.

“We thought it was time to remove the mystery by showcasing exactly what the celebrities look like for our inquisitive guests,” added Mr Porter.

Australian education comparison site courses.com.au offers one of the year’s bleaker pranks – promoting a course in how to survive the robot uprising.

The Diploma of Human Survival covers units on scavenging food and avoiding robot detection, while the fee is “12 large untainted potatoes”.

It cheerfully explains: “This course aims to prepare our young ones for our likely dystopian future. Arming them with the most basic skills for survival in the post-apocalyptic wasteland is our only course of action to ensure survival… for now.”

ME Bank says it has created a disposable credit card, branded Chuck, for customers who keep losing theirs.

According to ME Bank:

Rendered in unpretentious cardboard and reinforced with cutting-edge interior corrugation, Chuck will bring a tiny slice of shabby chic to your wallet.

It comes in a sheet of six ready-to-lose cards – so if you misplace Chuck, you can just shrug and pop another one out, ready to use.

“Most cards are designed for people who are organised. Here’s one for the rest of us,” said ME Money Expert, Matthew Read.

On eligibility, the bank adds: “You’ll need to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and gullible enough to fall for this.

And just to make sure it doesn’t get into any regulatory hot water, the statement from ME Bank also points out: “Chuck isn’t a real thing, so there’s that too. Still reading? Shout out to mum, dad and everyone else who got me here, writing fake terms and conditions and generally living the dream. Enjoy Chuck responsibly.”

Another strong effort from the banking sector comes from Bank of Melbourne, which claims to have turned the MCG into a giant ball pit for the day.

The New Daily has also focused on the cricket world, revealing the creation of a tamper-proof cricket ball.

Google is now claiming it is able to help its users free up time by detecting and deleting lame jokes from their devices.

Meanwhile, Vision Direct has entered the fray with its DateDirect Glasses.

The eyewear company says:

“Users look through their ‘DateDirect Glasses’ lens and the disruptive technology (similar to the technology used in Google Glasses) allows them to see the object of their desire’s available social media networks and any information they have listed on them. Users then have the option to contact them directly and let them know who they are, where they saw them through your ‘DateDirect Glasses’, and that you’re oh-so-interested.”

Food delivery service Menulog is also claiming to be getting into the dating game, with the launch of Menu Date, connecting users with a similar interest in food.

SodaStream has extended its brand into bathtime, with the addition of SodaSoak, allowing bathers to carbonate their bath water.

Meanwhile, food delivery service Foodora is offering to “help busy millennials on the go” by simplifying meals such as avocado on toast by turning them into smoothies.

TV Tonight continues its tradition of frighteningly plausible programming announcements, revealing Ten’s most expensive star Lisa Wilkinson as the host of a rebooted Big Brother.

According to TV Tonight:

“Lisa Wilkinson said, “Big Brother is the grand-daddy of Reality TV experiments. Who can forget Sara-Marie’s bunny ears, Marty & Jess falling in love, or Merlin’s “Free the Refugee” protest? It is watercooler TV meets eviction confessions, and I’ve been practicing those famous words, “It’s time to go…’” “

Another convoluted media tale comes from Radio Info which claims that Southern Cross Austereo has launched a desperate bid to bring back Jackie O to the 2Day FM breakfast chair without Kyle Sandilands. However, Radio Info suggests that the station has accidentally hired another person with the same name.

Lifestyles Condoms has also gone the brand extension route, announcing condoms for dogs.

P&O Cruises took out full page ads in News Corp titles promoting tightrope walking between its ships on the open sea.

Sportsbet says that it has vandalised the Great Barrier Reef in the creation of a huge new ad using lasers to etch its name onto the coral.

Using state of the art technology, the bookie has lasered into the actual coral of the Reef to reveal SPORTSBET and the sight is even visible from space.

The project began exactly one year ago and took a year to complete using high voltage lasers imported from North Korea.

“Over two million visitors come to our beautiful Great Barrier Reef each year so it’s really prime advertising space and a no brainer for Sportsbet to expand our marketing with,’’ said sportsbet.com.au’s Will Byrne.

The Urban List says that Disneyland is coming to Sydney’s beachside suburb of Coogee.

Budget Direct is getting in on the action, via the Captain Risky Commando Course.

Burger King in the US is offering a Chocolate Whopper.

Gravy brand Vegeta is thinking along similar lines, introucing a new chocolate line.

Holiday brand Kayak is removing the inconvenience of travel, by offering stay-at-home virtual reality trips.

Another communication reaching Mumbrella today bears the hallmarks of an April Fool  on behalf of Arnott’s Shapes.

The email from “Arnott’s Fan” links to a Change.org petition to create Shapes spice to shake onto other foods.

Lighting company Ambience claims to have designed a lamp inspired by Chico Roll.

Skittles – which has the slogan “taste the rainbow” organised for a number of Instagram influencers to post Photoshopped images of an upside-down rainbow over Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

Alison Levins, Marketing Director at Mars Wrigley Confectionery, said: “At Skittles we thought it would be fun to ‘Fool the Rainbow’ this April Fools’ Day.”

Sydney’s Opera Bar also used an influencer for its prank, with chef Matt Moran publishing an Instagram post to promote seagull pi as “chicken of the sea”.

NOT JUST YOUR AVERAGE PIE! 🥧 Happy Easter weekend guys! Come down to Opera Bar and check out our latest addition to the menu: SEAGULL PIE! Locally harvested seagull breast is combined with saffron, cumin, cinnamon, parsley garlic, ginger and a drop of sherry, encased in a flaky pastry shell – it’s delicious! There’s a negative stigma that surrounds seagulls but we should be taking advantage of the surplus native ingredients that are available to us on the harbour. For many the sea bird is perceived as a pest, but for international restaurants it’s actually the chicken of the sea. I’ve always recognised the farm to plate philosophy and felt it’s time for us to recognise the sea to plate opportunity at @operabarsydney . The gamey meat is surprisingly fatty and melts beautifully into stews or a pie when slow cooked. Head down there today and check it out! #operabar #seagullpie #pie #chips #onaboard

A post shared by Matt Moran (@chefmattmoran) on


View Mumbrella’s previous April Fool roundups:

ADVERTISEMENT

Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.

 

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.