April fools day is coming and I know about a lot of great hoaxes coming up. Are you preparing some great stuff to get publicity and mainly “links”?
The first of April poses a great opportunity to create a safe viral. Fairly safe because you can always revert to stating it was a joke. But what makes a great April fools joke? What ingredients are required for success? Here are some tips to give you a bigger chance of success…
Viral marketing is one of the most uncertain types of marketing. As stated in “How dangerous is viral marketing?”; Viral marketing can also backfire. Normally you should be careful in linking a viral to your company name, but with April fools jokes you can openly show the creativity of you marketing team.
- Use current events
Acting on current events that already get much media attention, gives even small news items the possibility to end up in newspaper specials. If your news is funny or shocking the chances of talkshows and popular news picking it up are also quite large. The end result should always be that online media all link to your fabricated proof or joke.
- Use popular people
Creating a hoax about famous people gets media attention much quicker and this kind of publicity is often conconed as an April fools joke. This is the only time you can do it safely).
For instance:“Did you know Danny Sullivan is gay?” His singing should have given him away, but now there is proof! He said so in the Daily search cast. What will his wife think?
- Create a believable story
A story can create a feeling like “this can’t be true”. These stories could work as an April fools scam, but they need to work until the first of April. You need quite a lot of (fake) proof to keep up a story for a couple of days, so spread the proof over a couple of days. Try to have the big bang on the first op April.
- Use respected media
When respected media pick up on your story, chances for success are much higher. Prepare content for all media types, so television, radio, youtube, flickr and blogs all have access to an easy article. Use respected newswires like PR-Newswire, because those are seen as trustworthy. For examples see: Examples of viral marketing
- Learn from what worked
On websites like the hoax museum you can find many examples. Learn from these and create your own scam. April fools gives you the opportunity to lie without any negative consequences. Make use of it while you can!
I hope this helps you create some great jokes. Please comment to let me know what you’ve come up with.