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April Fools 2015 Roundup

April 1 brings out the fool in many of us and this year has seen a bumper crop of brands and news sites getting in on the action. Here’s a wrap-up of the April Fools gags we’ve spotted. We’ll be updating it throughout the day.

Vodafone emoji phoneIn the tech space, Vodafone announced an emoji phone, we’re sure Julie Bishop will be quite sad to realise it’s not a real product.

It’s announcement read: “If this phone was real and not a light-hearted April Fools’ Day prank, we’d want you to know the handset features our genius image conversion engine; allowing users to text quickly and seamlessly via Emoji and converting received texts back to the image language.”

Google has turned its Maps page into a giant game of Pacman – ensuring productivity today will be low. (Click the big PacMan icon when you get to Google maps)

Google maps April Fools

Redballoon.com has a special range of experiences for consumers’ more gullible friends.

Redballoon april fools

Kogan.com april foolsKogan.com attempted to trick consumers with an announcement that it was set to become a bricks and mortar retailer.

Ruslan Kogan, Founder & CEO of Kogan.com, said: “People have been asking me for years if Kogan.com will become a bricks and mortar retailer. I knew that Aussies love getting the best prices on the latest products like LED TVs and iPhones, but I had no idea so many people were after building supplies.”

They’re also using celebrity endorsements from the likes of Tony Abbott and Kim Kardashian.

UK styling brand VO5 has stepped into the wearable tech space, at least according to this video. It’s all about its ‘Hair Fit Clip’ a device which allows women to monitor their health via their hair.

Qantas has announced it is finally putting a ‘U’ in its name – ending years of spelling headaches for many overseas passengers.Qantas april fools

Not to be outdone Virgin Australia introduced a dedicated lounge for pets – cue air hostesses petting and playing with dogs and cats.

Introducing our dedicated lounge for pets featuring a world-first Premium Paw Door Entry.The lounge will be available to four legged members of our Velocity Frequent Flyer program.

Posted by Virgin Australia on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kyle Sandilands pranked his co-host Jackie O with a classic pregnant PA “my water just broke” trick….Jackie didn’t necessarily see the funny side, calling her PA a “fucking bitch”.

Jackie O got her own back at Kyle with some prank billboards featuring a bald Kyle Sandilands…

Kyle & Jackie O _April Fools_ Billboard entry to Sydney Domestic Airport

Triple M’s Grill Team pranked its listeners with a billboard featuring two of the regular team members Mark Geyer and Matt Johns, but the third member Gus Worland was missing. The prank promoted concerned listeners to call in and alert them on air.
april fools Triple M_Macquarie Shopping Centre

WS FM101.7’s Jonsey & Amanda pranked their listeners with a computer system malfunction. The duo had to read out the scheduled ads with the info they could find and keep talking so they didn’t go off air. Luckily, Jonesy had his record player near by to play hit record Bacon and Eggs, Amanda played her beloved Barry Manilow record, while Brian (the tech guy) managed to find a CD player and offered up The Wiggles and Shania Twain…

Access PR went with the launch of a sister agency network, called Ditto, which would work on conflicting consumer accounts and be staffed by twin sisters of existing Access staff.

The agency’s foundation team of three includes account director Susan Boyd (sister of Access senior account manager Samantha Boyd), account manager Lisa Minns, (sister of Access account executive Laura Minns), and account executive Rose McKenzie (sister of Access senior account executive Rachael McKenzie).

Foundation clients include Hershey’s Double Choc Mint Cookies, Doublemint Gum, and the agency will represent the man behind the infamous YouTube Double Rainbow clip, Yosemitebear62.

“We were determined to have a sister agency that reflected our strong values and professionalism and how better to do that than with talented communications professionals who also happen to be twin sisters of our amazing staff,” said Access CEO Andrea Kerekes.

“I have an identical twin sister myself and always wanted to work with her. Unfortunately she is in jail but as soon as she is released I will look to bring her on board,” added Kerekes.

Sporting news site The Roar wrote a story on an NRL announcement that it would “crack down on visible tattoos in an effort to improve the image of the game”.

“2016 would see the introduction of up to four-week bans for players found to have tattoos showing at any point during a game.

“Legitimate tribal tattoos for Maori and Islander players have been deemed acceptable, with additional punishments understood in the works for any player without such heritage displaying tribal motifs.”

april fools napkinITNews.com had the exclusive story of the long-rumoured napkin used by former prime minister Kevin Rudd to sketch out the first iteration of the NBN being up for sale.

“Rumours have long circulated that the first version of the $37.4 billion national broadband network was laid out by former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to Rudd on the back of a table napkin during a prime ministerial flight in 2009,” the story read.

The New Daily has solved travel expenses with its April Fools story. Its reporting Australians will soon be able to “mail” themselves to more than 50 destinations across the country under a new Australia Post program aimed at reversing its falling profitability.

TV Tonight has targeted Nine with its April Fools prank. With a little help from photoshop it’s reporting a giant sinkhole has opened up in front of the channel’s Willoughby offices.

TV Tonight April Fools

Chang's Gluten-Free Gluten NewAsian food brand Chang launched the “world’s first gluten-free gluten”.

“It’s a scientific breakthrough. We have managed to find a way to extract the gluten from gluten. The result is somewhat of an acquired taste but the thought of eating gluten that is gluten-free will win fans over we are sure,” said Chang’s general manger Elaine Pow.

Following on from last year’s prank around a Vegemite flavoured energy drink, the brand this year has announced a “giant” Vegemite set to open on Australia Day in 2016….Media fell for the prank, with both Pedestrian TV and Nine reporting the story as fact…

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 9.43.29 AM

Contiki Holidays, the preferred choice of holidays for young people aged 18-35, has decided to open up their trips to adults aged over 65.

Contiki MD, Katrina Barry says of the change: “This ultimately is a case of us really listening to our consumers and acting. For years we’ve had requests for over 35’s to travel on Contiki. This includes parents and grandparents who want to accompany a young family member on their first big overseas trip or some of the many people who went on Contiki when they were young and are looking to rekindle that youthful spirit. All we can say is, we’ve heard you!”Contiki April Fools

Sportsbet.com.au has decided to target women with the launch of its pink-themed LadyBet.

Following on from his election win in NSW on Saturday, Premier Mike Baird has decided to sell off all playgrounds in NSW, saying “kids don’t play in playgrounds anyway”.

Baird wasn’t the only pollie to get in on the action. Bill Shorten poked fun at Tony Abbott’s infamous tasting of an onion with the launch of a new preventative health campaign – An Onion a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.

Bill Shorten April Fools DayEven the police have gotten in on the action – Queensland Police have issued a great statement on a three-month trial of “kangaroo shoes”.

April fools Qld police

RSPCA NSW is celebrating April Fool’s with a Facebook post about “an extra special dog” who is “just really small-boned”.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 10.21.41 AM Realestate.com.au are spruiking a new property feature, for the more daring home-buyer.

“Queensland developers Four One have responded. Hoping to satisfy the modern consumer’s insatiable appetite for adrenaline, the company has announced plans to include a bungee jumping platform in their latest development, Phule Towers.

“The lavish high-rise apartments will be built in central Gold Coast, catering to big players – and thrill-seekers – in the Queensland prestige real estate market,” its April Fools post reads.

Nissan has solved the expense around buying a car by introducing its DIY 3D printed GT-R kit.

Nissan april fools

Kia has also gotten in on the prank action with its “Smile-to-Start” technology…

Kia april fools

RACV Resorts is promoting its all new RACV Treehouse Resort coming sometime in 2016…

RACV april fools

It’s also promoting its new Roadside Assistance PatrolPooches…RACV April Fools

April fools cats aquariamSea Life Sydney Aquariam is also going with the pet theme, introducing “the world’s first Cat Aquariam and Kitty Snorkel Experience1”.

“Until now we’ve had a strict no cat policy, but at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium we love all animals and know cats are incredibly intrigued by fish, and so thought why shouldn’t the feline community get to experience our incredible aquarium? YouTube is full of videos of cats jumping into fish tanks, *According to the Animal Health Alliance’s research paper ‘Pet ownership in Australia 2013 they clearly love the idea of swimming with the fish but once they hit the water they suddenly have a change of heart. So we’ve created the temperature controlled Kitty Snorkel Experience to create the perfect environment for cats to experience their dream of swimming with the fish,” said Steve Hinks, General Manager for SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium.

michelle bridges april foolsAnd if your pet needs a little weight loss help Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation has launched a program for pets.

“Is your pooch a little too portly? Does you cat need to cut down on the calories? Look no further!

“12WBT for Pets gives you favourite feline or pampered pooch all the tools they need to become the best version of themselves… just like you!” the program announcement reads.

AdNews has also gotten in on the fun with their story on a “dreamvertising wearable device”. The SleepBit wristband device uses sensors to capture vital signs and adopts elements of neuroscience to track users’ dream sequences. It can use the data to serve advertising based on dream content and subconscious triggers.

Practical Motoring has pranked its readers with a story about the 2016 Land Rover Defender set be only 2WD only.

The Country Fire Authority has announced some new sirens for Victorian fire trucks – we’re not too sure how well Greensleeves will work to get people moving out of the way…

CFA gets world first new sirens Victorians are set to be the first in the world to benefit from the latest joint…

Posted by CFA (Country Fire Authority) on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hughes PR has launched a “social media revolution” called Kookaburra which allows users to share life’s lighter moments and will filter “negative sentiment” from posts.

Melbourne lighting company Ambience has created a light globe that is powered by positive vibes…

april fools lighting company

Appliances Online has introduced a blimp delivery system…Appliances Online April Fools

Speedcafe.com are saying the V8 Supercars will implement a “fan vote” system for the Bathurst 1000 where the most popular driver will get a horsepower increase for a set period of time – and the least popular driver will have horsepower taken away from them.

Midori has launched a melon-flavoured beer called Mandori…Mandori_Product Shot

“Midori, being such a vibrant and fun brand full of adventure. Our research tells us that the market is ready for a melon infused beer and we couldn’t be more excited about the campaign,” says MT Jones, Senior Brand Manager at Midori.

Scenestr.com has all the goss on Triple J’s new station Seven J for oldies, with Lee Lin Chin as the first marquee appointment.

For men wishing they had the hair to pull a Leonardo Di Caprio styled-man bun Asos has the answer…

Asos april fools

Flight Centre has introduced a new class of travel….cargo class.

Passengers are offered a “full lay flat bed in a personal suite ‘pod'”.

“Private and locked away from the usual hustle and bustle of the typical flight experience, travellers can take advantage of wireless in-flight entertainment options using their own personal device and bring their own meals and snacks for the journey, so long as they are contained in an air-tight container.

“With the benefit of the latest aircraft technology these pressurised and temperature controlled cargo spaces offer up a unique and private way to travel for those looking for something a little different at a bargain price,” the announcement reads.

Flight Centre April Fools

Processed meats brand DON Smallgoods has announced its entering the vegan market…

Don Smallgoods april fools

Finder.com.au upset chocolate-lovers this morning with its research that chocolate supplies were set to run out this year…

The NT News pranked readers with its decision to cover more news stories, saying they would stop covering croc and quirky yarns.

The NT News April fools

Google went with a data-styled prank suggesting the equator is slipping south at a rate of 25km a year, meaning the northern tip of Australia could enter the northern hemisphere as early as 2055.

The Guardian UK reported disgraced former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson as getting behind its campaign for fossil fuel divestment.

“Following what he described as a “dark night of the soul”, Clarkson said he hoped to “regain the trust of the British public” by dedicating his time and financial resources to sustainable energy, road safety and forging mutual understanding and tolerance between people of different cultures and religions.

“The 54-year-old said that the “fracas” last month, in which he punched a producer on the patio of a North Yorkshire hotel, had prompted him to “re-evaluate his priorities” and reflect deeply on his life, behaviour and carbon footprint,” the story read.

Boost Juice april foolsBoost Juice pranked its own franchises with a Facebook post of a drive-through Boost store. “We’re actually in trouble with the franchise team this morning,” Boost General Manager Adam Neill said.

“They’re pretty unimpressed with us because the phone started ringing at 8.45 this morning at it hasn’t stopped. We’ve had existing Boost franchisees cranky that they weren’t told first and heaps of new people wanting to get in on it too.”

And here’s Ansell Condoms prank…

Ansell Condoms April Fools

 

Campaign Brief pranked readers with a story about a meeting of the Australasian Union of Television Commercials Production Companies (AUTCPC) in which all Australian and New Zealand commercial production companies have agreed to be represented under the auspices of the AUTCPC.

A lot of beer drinkers and Wifi lovers will be sad to discover Hahn’s Wifi enabled bottle caps is just another April Fools prank…

Hahn April Fools

Telstra introduces its #PottyMouth censor, a voice recognition app that bleeps out inappropriate words…

Telstra April Fools

Virgin Mobile Austrlia had The Bachelor’s Tim Robards rolling from Sydney to Melbourne in a Zorb ball for its Data Rollover campaign….

Rolling for Data Rollover is hard work. Just ask Tim Robards – Official…

Posted by Virgin Mobile Australia on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Groupon had Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s budgie smugglers for sale “used and unwashed”…

Groupon April Fools

Brisbane’s Nova106.9 and outdoor company goa pranked the city with its ‘Fast Radio Bursts‘ prank which saw radio coverage fade in and out and billboards showing strange images.

Joint MD of goa, Chris Tyquin has said “It was great to work with Nova and have a morning of fun with the people of Brisbane. It was incredible to see how goa’s digital billboard network and Nova managed to attract the attention of the public, and how they encouraged them to join in”.

Spotted something we’ve missed? Leave us a link in the comment thread or email miranda@focalattractions.com.au.

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