• Carma Levene

April Fool Me Once, Shame On You

Updated: Mar 31

April Fool's Day happens every year and marketers love it, especially on social media. It's not hard to understand why - many of us work for "boring" industries or for conservative organisations so our communication with our audience gets pretty dry.


And there's often good reason for that. Risk adversity makes it necessary for brands to be "safe" and sometimes it's a lack of understanding that social media is actually supposed to be like people talking.


That's why I write how I do.


It's not always grammatically correct, but social media has its own grammar rules...


I digress.


Marketers love having a bit of fun on social media for April Fools Day. They get to be cool, and it makes producing content, distributing it, and the community management of it fun compared to the "boring stuff" but...most of it SUCKS.


Yep - I hate it. It's a day of eye rolls.


You know why? Because they have so much fun they forget the joke is not for them.

They forget their audience, who don't want lame dad jokes and if they did there would be literally thousands of other places they would go to get better dad jokes than your business page.


Reason #2 it sucks is that you don't have a strong enough brand, a human enough brand that we can tell when you're joking.

Robots don't joke, humans joke. So if your audience doesn't know you (what you stand for) they can't really know that you're joking.


Example

Small Business Brand: We are releasing a new product that kills kittens

Audience of Small Business Brand: Why would you do that? How awful!

Small Business Brand: No way! We would never do that! April Fools!

Audience of Small Business Brand: Um? Good...


Not really funny, is it?

Either plan something now for next year and go big, or stop and ask yourself is it actually funny, clever or satirical.

Otherwise it's not a joke. It's just a confusing piece of messaging.


Have you seen any April Fool's jokes from brands that you liked?


Let me know, maybe you'll change my mind.