April Fool’s Day fell on a Sunday this year, but that didn’t stop corporate pranksters from letting their creative juices flow wild and free.
Some jokers crossed the thin line that separates good-natured humor from bad taste, like Forbes‘ short-lived article about Mitt Romney ending his presidential run.
The article, which included phoney quotes attributed to Romney, claimed that the GOP front-runner ceded to Rick Santorum. Some jokes, like Kodak‘s (NYSE:EKDKQ) kittens, were simply too cute to fail. And there were a few real headlines (‘Larry,’ Quaker of Oatmeal Fame, Gets a Makeover) that risked being brushed off as an April Fool’s Day prank.
Here are our top five April Fool’s Day jokes played by or on corporations.
- Google Gmail Tap: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) brought back Morse code with this hoax. “With Gmail Tap on your phone, you’ll be able to: tap without looking at your screen; replace 26 keys with 2; double your productivity by typing two emails at once.”
- Kodak Print Your Own Live Kittens Kiosk: This warm and fuzzy faux ad garnered laughs and a few oohs and ahhs for Kodak. “Select a breed … wait 90 seconds … and fall in love.”
- Virgin Virgin Volcanic: Richard Branson has always been a risk taker, so Virgin‘s (NASDAQ:VMED) claim about exploring the center of volcanoes didn’t seem all that far-fetched … which made it even funnier. “Richard Branson launches journey to the center of the Earth through Virgin Volcanic. Academy Award winning actor Tom Hanks to join first expedition. Only 500 people have been to space, only three people have been to the bottom of the ocean, but no one has ever attempted to journey to the core of an active volcano. Until now.”
- Sony World’s Smallest Ultrabook – The VAIO Q: The presentation by Andrew Maxwell, lead project engineer for Sony (NYSE:SNE), added even more laughs to this elaborate prank. “Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the Sony Vaio Q … oh, where is it? It’s in my pocket.”
- Electronic Hungry Hungry Hippos for iPad: A revamped version of Hungry Hungry Hippos is the stuff Gen X’ers dream about — and could incite even more craze when you pair it with Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. It’s almost sad that this one was a joke. “The original Hunger Games returns. Electronic Hungry Hungry Hippos iPad Game is everything you remember about Hungry Hungry Hippos. All four hippos are present and hungry, except this time, the hippos fit over your iPad and the game board is an app!”
Narrowing down the list to just five top pranksters was tough. How do you think we did? Any jokes missing from our list?