April Fool’s Day has actually been celebrated for centuries. It’s thought that it derived from France, when the calendar was changed from Julian to Gregorian in 1582. The Julian calendar began around the spring equinox – approximately April 1st. When some people refused to recognize the new beginning of January, they were called “April fools” and tricks were played on them.
Over the years, big brands have gotten on board with this fun holiday. Some have been fantastic, some have caused some controversy, but almost all of them have been creative! Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting April Fool’s jokes played by huge businesses:
- Volkswagen changing it’s name to “Voltswagen.” When trying to bring attention to its efforts in the electric car realm, the company claimed that it would be changing its name to Voltswagen – even plastering a “new” logo all over social media. Unfortunately, many did not see this as a funny joke and called out the car manufacturer for lying.
- Whole Foods playing matchmaker. Whole Foods claimed that they started an app called Main Squeeze, where you could find the love of your life in their grocery stores. Don’t forget to use #WholeFoodsandChill! Here is their April Fool’s press release, as well as a fun YouTube video they created about Main Squeeze.
- OpenTable introduces lickable photos. The people behind the OpenTable app know that trying new restaurants can be risky, so they claimed to have tapped into technology which allowed them to offer lickable pictures. This would let customers taste-test entrees at restaurants that they were nervous trying.
- McDonald’s MmmBox subscription for millennials. McDonald’s said that they had three “MmmBox” options, an almost hipster-like subscription. You could choose the Artist, the Ribster, or the Minimalist. Each box supposedly included a menu item and a couple of fun pieces, such as a mustache comb.
- The renaming of the Liberty Bell. In 1996, Taco Bell purchased several ads stating that they had bought the rights to and were renaming the American icon to the Taco Liberty Bell. It caused an uprise by people who began questioning the integrity of our country and calling the Taco Bell headquarters to complain. While many did not like the joke, the ad was so successful in bringing attention to the company that it actually won an award.