No Fooling

As the nation braces for what is likely to be a grim several weeks, social media feeds are intentionally devoid of the usual April Fools' Day wit. Google CMO Lorraine Twohill sent an internal email warning staffers not to joke around this year and encouraging managers to “suss out” any such efforts, despite Google’s two-decade reputation for internet-wide pranks, Business Insider and Lifewire report.

In the world of social good initiatives, T-Mobile, forgoing its usual antics from impish now-former CEO John Legere, announced a #GiveThanksNotPranks effort donating a dollar to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for those that thank a healthcare worker or other helper on Twitter, use the hashtag and tag the brand (up to $200,000), as well as matching $5 gifts through a special text line, up to $300,000.

Even trades are getting into the un-spirit. Marketing Dive laid out instructions for contributing to the T-Mobile donation effort, while noting that countries from India to Thailand are threatening legal enforcement against those that make April Fool’s jokes about the virus. And, under the headline, "OPINION: WHAT MARKETERS SHOULD DO FOR APRIL FOOLS’ DAY THIS YEAR," Ad Age’s staff wrote likely the shortest op-ed in the history of op-eds: "Nothing."

In tone-deaf pitching news, Buzzfeed’s Julia Reinstein was not having it.

USA Today provided a light history of the pranking tradition, while warning readers to steer clear of practical jokes today. Meanwhile, Twitter facilitated a social contract among social media users to steer clear.

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