The April Fool’s Day pranks this year in South Africa were considered mediocre or just plain lame. Some were so average that you may even have missed them. We look at some of the pranks that worked and the total flops.

April Fool’s phone APP for ‘tasting’

Pick n Pay topped the charts with their rather convincing and complex prank that was supported by a video, press release and tweets. They ‘released’ a brand-new app using nanotechnology using your phone’s touchscreen to create a response from your nervous system that allows you to taste and smell. A few Pick n Pay spokespeople took to this video to explain how you can now lick your phone and taste hot-cross buns.

The SA Air Force has a new funding plan: crypto

South African Air Force (SAAF) announced a new way to fund its operations: an “airborne” cryptocurrency mining initiative called SAAFCoin. SAAFCoin would be mined in-flight, the air force said, using excess electricity on board its aircraft. Eventually, it said, the new currency could cover its flying costs – and perhaps even turn a slight profit.

Audi is now ‘Odi’

Car brand Audi announced a name change in South Africa – to Odi – because it is easier to pronounce. Furthermore, they were going to adapt the 3 Audi ‘rings’ to just one simple ‘ring.’

April Fools

The Springboks are now the Zebras

eNCA decided to rehash an old prank which inevitably flopped.  They reported that the Springbok rugby team will be changing their name to the ZebrasIt linked the name change to the fact that the Springboks has a black captain and said black and white stripes “are symbolic of all South Africans”. The TV channel ran with the joke on Twitter for only a short while before outing its own joke well before the traditional noon deadline – and not a moment too soon. The channel was widely panned for trying a tired old joke that wasn’t funny to begin with.

april fools

Buying a vote for R100

The joke by online retailer OneDayOnly was a bit unclear.  They attempted to convince you that you could vote online, or (more disturbing) it tried to “sell” votes, starting from R100 each.  This wasn’t at all convincing and neither was it funny.

april fools

Week-long load shedding – no joke

Against the backdrop of recent load shedding experiences, jokes about blackouts are generally not well received by South Africans.  Technology news website TechCentral reported that Eskom will be implementing week-long blackouts a suburb at a time.  This would mean much less frequent load shedding, it said – but people would be without power for a week at a time.

april fools

And now for some data shedding

Reported by breakfast TV show Expresso, the “The Mobile Institute of SA” will institute data shedding based on the prefix for cell phone numbers, with each one being denied access to the data network for two hours per day.  They issued the #datashedding schedule below and advised viewers to check their number prefixes to see how they will be affected.

april fools

Thank you for your order

Creative Imagineering decided to have a little fun with our clients.  We sent them a mailer with the heading: “Thanks for your order” and then proceeded to share some company news.  That headline certainly worked to capture their attention!

To play April’s Fool or not to?

The question for brands is often whether to participate in April Fool’s Day at all. Many brands cited the proliferation of fake news as a reason for not participating in the annual foolery.  They may have a point.  However, if you can pull off a convincing, humorous and non-offensive prank the publicity could be of great value to raising brand awareness and brand affinity amongst your audience.

For more insights and inspiration read other articles on our Insights Page.

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