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The Strategy Room

The Best (Un)Believable Marketing on April Fools’ Day

By: Amy Bowman

Unleashed by Petco's "Dog on a Stick" introduced today.

Unleashed by Petco’s “Dog on a Stick” introduced today.

Admit it. You’ve been “had” at some point today. I have a few friends who already signed off Facebook for the rest of April 1st in an attempt to escape any tomfoolery. In that case, they better also avoid email, Twitter, YouTube, or the World Wide Web altogether.
However, it may be worth the hoax. April Fools’ Day is quickly becoming the new Black Friday for marketers. Many are treating their customers to flash deals and discounts as a perk for playing along, and all channels are fair game. Here are a few of the best marketing-driven pranks I’ve come across today. What are your favorites?

“Goodbye Midtown, Hello Brooklyn.”

Hudson April-Fools
Or so the subject line read. Hudson New York, the swanky boutique hotel near Central Park, blasted an email campaign earlier today promoting its relocation from Midtown to the Bushwick neighborhood in Brooklyn. Touting itself as the “world’s first farm-to-factory hotel,” amenities apparently range from reclaimed hay bedding to selvage denim toilet paper and artisanal beer spa and brewery. Using the hashtag #HudsonBK, the hotel engaged fans and followers in the joke. HotelTonight, the hotel booking mobile app, even took advantage, asking @HudsonNYC when they can get the new spot on the app. Believe it or not, April Fools’ Day kicked off a two day 40% off cyber sale. Well played.

 

New Ways to Selfie

Today only! Online only! Unleashed by Petco, the chain of smaller, neighborhood-friendly Petco stores, unveiled the new Dog on a Stick selfie product for all you April fools. Not only did the retailer create a 40 second video commercial, but they developed a complete web page with photos and a free product offer (the Cat on a Stick, of course). Their Facebook page and Twitter feed, which posted clever doggie #selfiefails, all drove fans back to the site for 20% off purchases today.

For us humans, Miz Mooz mocked up the Selfie Shoe, which started getting buzz even before April Fools’ Day. The YouTube commercial has already racked up more than 468,000 views, and to make up for their joke, customers can sign up for their email list and save 15% off their next pair of shoes.

“Today, Nothing’s on Sale”

That’s certainly a different tact for LOFT, the women’s fashion retailer. On any given day, customers can expect to find catchy email subject lines boasting mark-downs, discount codes or free shipping, but not today. It was a simple email tactic, but it proves a lot of time, resources and production aren’t necessarily required to take advantage of an annual event. And for the record, everything is 40% off in stores and online today.




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