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April 1, 2014 was no different than any April Fool’s Day, with people from all over the world trying to get one over on friends, family and work colleagues with timely pranks. Yet again, both brands big and small did their best to muscle-in on the occassion and put themselves in the spotlight. Here’s 5 of the best attempts from this year.

1.     Aaron & Partners launch Expel Your Partner app

Not many law firms are brave enough to go anyway near an April Fools prank, so it was great to see Aaron & Partners go against the grain by announcing that they’re launching an app enabling people to simply ‘swipe’ their partner out of an agreement.

Mark Briegal, of Aaron & Partners, said: “We are often asked by our clients how they can expel their non-performing partners, and with the increased ubiquity of smartphones, it was an obvious choice to develop this app.”

Posting a blog on the App launch provided the team with a tangible way to measure the success of the exercise though referral traffic. Recording the number of leads generated will actually help them to demonstrate its ROI. We particluarly loved that they centred the prank around one of their services, in turn showing readers what they can offer. Great job guys!

2.     King’s College Choir announces major change

Performances from the King’s College Choir are now available to listen to online. So it’s no surprise that the team responsible for publicising this took to social media in order to promote it.

Using humour to create buzz online is more of an art than a science. It’s risky businesses, and most brands/organisations fall flat on their faces. But this YouTube video is so outlandishly ridiculous it can only make you laugh.

King’s College Choir YouTube Clip

With over 500k hits in just a few days, King’s College Choir are one of the big winners of this year’s April Fools Day. Not only have they shown that they’re capable of moving with the times, they’ve also been able to tap into a new generation, which is otherwise difficult for them to target.

3.     An indpendent Scotland to drive on the right

One of the biggest challenges facing the fight for Scottish independence is illustrating to the public what an independent Scotland would actually look like. First Minister, Alex Salmond, had already suggested that the Scots could join a Scandinavian union, provide free university education and announced a range of possible measures with the aim of showing people that Scotland has a separate identity to the rest of the UK.

The Yes Scotland campaign would have been pleased to see the widespread coverage of an independent Scotland’s plans to apparently drive on the right side of the road.

As one of the year’s more believeable (really…?) pranks, this definitely set social media buzzing and provided some light-hearted material for chats at the water cooler. What made this spoof so powerful is that it provoked a discussion and really got people thinking of a vision of an independent Scotland.

4.     Putting the clock forward at Avebury Stone Circle

Just a couple of days before April 1 saw the start of British Summer time. And who would have thought, just as millions of people were adjusting the hour hand on their watches, the National Trust team were hard at work doing the very same… but with famous Standing Stones at the Avebury Stone Circle World Heritage Site.

Hilary Makins, National Trust Head Ranger joked on the National Trust’s South West blog, “Obviously Stone Age man didn’t have daylight saving, so twice a year we have to move one of the stones.” The stunt aimed to raise awareness of “the Neolithic people’s ingenuity”, picturing National Trust staff moving the stones, weighing up to 7 tonnes, using modern day machinery.

5.     Fresh Direct’s Eagle-caught Salmon

Fresh Direct is an online grocer primarily servicing the US market. They compete against some of the biggest supermarket brands in the world, not to mention a whole host of established regional chains and other online specialists. It’s tought to stand-out.

What makes Fresh Direct different from the rest is their commitment to fresh food. Their just in time delivery systems ensure that their customers get the freshest produce delivered straight to their door.

The brief was simple – communicate the brand’s key point of difference in a way the average shopper can appreaciate. Their eagle-caught salmon promotion really pushed home their “freshness first“ credentials, as well as demonstrating that their range is wider than just fruit and vegetables. The images they used were visually striking, helping it to achieve a healthy number of shares across social media.

 

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