Pete Cerny, creative director at digital and social agency Channel T, talks about the key ingredients for what makes a successful April Fools’ Day prank. Channel T were responsible for yesterday’s BIG Vegemite Jar prank and last year’s Vegemite’s new iDrink 2.1 energy drink.
First and foremost you need an idea that pushes the boundaries of the brand, but what’s really important is that the idea doesn’t go too far. The idea needs to be believable. I see many examples where the pranks are just so ridiculous people automatically dismiss them as April Fools. People need to think that it could be real. It’s about getting the balance right. For Vegemite, as it is such a big Australian icon, The BIG Vegemite Jar was a big idea, but it was also something fans could easily believe.
Secondly, make sure you execute really well. The quality of your execution helps support the legitimacy of your prank.
Thirdly, you need to be into market early on the day. We launch our April Fools as soon as the clock strikes midnight. This allows the campaign to get organic traction in social so when everyone wakes up you’ve already got ground swell before paid media kicks in. Launching early also allows media who are looking for stories early in the morning to pick up your April Fools campaign first, giving it the best chance of being heroed in the press.
What you end up with is a piece of creative that genuinely fools a lot of people, which is what April Fools’ Day is all about!
Have you heard? Something BIG is coming to Melbourne in the shape of a 60m tall interactive Vegemite jar. Who's keen? pic.twitter.com/86N7Fsjepo
— Vegemite (@Vegemite) March 31, 2015
Start the day with our NEW Vegemite iDRINK2.1 energy drink! Swap your Vegemite toast for this when you're on the go? pic.twitter.com/Lsvsfbb88D
— Vegemite (@Vegemite) March 31, 2014