April Fools’ Roundup 2016: The Best Brand Pranks


April 1 is a great day for brand PR. Everyone gets a pass to joke around and show off their lighter side, and audiences take it in good humor when they get suckered. And though it's expected, it's not expected—that is, nobody is going to be upset at your brand for not taking part.

...except maybe when it comes to Google. We've come to look forward to a good gag from them, and this year they've obliged with another fun tech spoof:

Google subsidiary YouTube got in on the action as well, with the help of a celebrity friend:

Rounding out their offerings with the tiniest bit of edge, Google Express' joke gently ribs the much-jawed-about Amazon plan to deliver packages via drone:

H&M's Mark Zuckerberg collection is perhaps the perfect way to rib the world's wealthiest wunderkind without getting him angry enough to crush you into dust:

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With the new Ghostbusters film approaching, Sony's prank smells suspiciously of advertising, but people were still amused to see their claim that they had developed a working proton pack:

You know, it's not just April Fools' Day, it's also Spotify's weekly New Music Friday! Wait, what's that track tucked away at the bottom?... Subtle, Spotify.

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But credit for one of the most delightful little surprises goes to GQ. You don't even get a screenshot for this one, just go to their website.

Google doesn't always get it right, by the way (although to their credit, they axed this one so early you may not have noticed). In the dead of night, Gmail users found themselves equipped with a "mic drop" feature that added a .gif file of a Minion dropping a microphone to any email. It was ill-considered for two reasons: 1) the button replaced the "send and archive" button, so some people inadvertently sent inappropriate content to the wrong people, and 2) a lot of people seem to hate Minions.

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