Why April Fools’ Day Is No Joke for Brands

/ Apr 1, 2015

People engaged with Google's April Fools video in 2014

It’s no surprise that April Fools Day makes a big impact on YouTube. There, pranks captured in video form can be shared with limitless viewers, and brands are naturally wise to this. In fact, it’s pretty much expected of any large brand to come up with some sort of April Fools’ “prank” on the internet today, as summed up in report from European MCN Divimove.

This rise in April Fools’ videos year on year is a notable one. The average reach of these videos went up 65% between 2011 and 2012, increased by another 50% in 2013, and then went up by a whopping 80% in 2014, according to Divimove’s data.

Reach of April Fools videos year on year
Creators’ April Fools’ videos published on this tentpole day perform very well compared to these creators’ other videos posted around April 1. Video views spiked on April 1 for creators in Divimove’s network, as did the number of likes, dislikes, and comments.

April Fools Video Engagement across Divimove channels
Not only are these brand videos watched, shared, and commented on throughout the day of their release. They’ve proven to have some serious longevity. Take, for example, this video about Nike Air. It came out in 2010, and though it has just over 900,000 views (which is a lot, but not huge) it counts nearly 500 comments (some of which went up as recently as one week ago) and over 2,300 likes and dislikes. The video represents a less than believable joke, but one that’s entertaining and clever enough to keep up audience engagement.

This BBC video from 2008 proved an even more popular prank. It showcased a “unique” colony of penguins that could do something no other members of penguinkind have accomplished—they could fly. Not only do people continue to comment on this video today (comments currently number in the 3,000s), but the video inspired the creation of 40 other related videos on YouTube, at least one from the BBC which revealed how the network made the original video (as we all know penguins don’t actually fly—to tropical rainforests, no less). The video’s received over 4.3 million views.

One of last year’s most popular April Fools’ Day videos came from Google. It presented the “Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge,” a competition to become Google’s resident Pokémon Master, and it’s gotten over 16.4 million views since it was posted a year ago. Likes and dislikes nearly reach 16,000, and there have been over 19,700 comments. The video gained so much traction by getting on the front pages of big, digital media outlets all over the world (everyone in the world is familiar with Pokémon and Google, after all).

The takeaway? If brands don’t pull some kind of April Fools’ Day prank on April 1, the joke’s on them.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


Facebook Says It’s Sorry It Vastly Overestimated Video...


Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian (‘The...


Heroes or Rats?: YouTube Unveils New Program for Creators Who...

Vessel says it's doing well in its first month

Why Verizon is Pursuing Vessel, the...

Industry Tickets Selling Fast!
Click above to lock in your registration for VidCon 2015!

How Canvs Media is Harvesting Emotional Insights on YouTube,...


Marlon Wayans Getting ‘Naked’ for Netflix with Regina Hall


HuffPost RYOT Launching Virtual Reality Comedy Series and News...


YouTube Launches #voteIRL Campaign Targeting Digital-First Generation


How Top YouTubers (incl. Tyler Oakley & Meghan Rienks)...


Charlie Sheen to Star in Crackle Feature ‘Mad Families’


Gunpowder & Sky Buys Distributor FilmBuff As Vision for...


Toy Freaks Top Viewed YouTube Channel in August According to...


Emmy Wrap-Up 2016: Jeffrey Tambor (‘Transparent’)...


Twitter Scores 2.1 Million Viewers for Thursday Night Footall Kickoff


Vloggers Not Unique Snowflakes: 90 Million Flag YouTube Videos...

Mode Media

‘Billion Dollar Startup’ Mode Media Shuts Down


Who Is Winning The Marketing Revolution And Why?


Netflix Orders ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Series...


What Is ‘Swedish Dicks’ and Who Is Selling It?


How GMC is Using the AOL Series ‘Seamlessly She’...


Liberty Global to Put Netflix on Set-Top Boxes in 30 Countries


Getting to the Spine of VR’s Monetization Challenges with...


Meredith Hosted Its Own “Front” Stacked with 20 New Series


Verizon and Hearst Move RatedRed.com and Seriously.TV Under...


Twitter Launches Live Streaming Apps for Amazon Fire, Apple TV...

YouTube Community

YouTube Fights Back Against Social Media Rivals with Community Feature

Casual Hulu

Vimeo Opening Television Store with Lionsgate Content, Launching...

A Perfect Day in LA Tastemade Jaunt VR Virtual Reality

From Donuts to Malibu, Tastemade and Jaunt Get Immersive in...

Defy Media

Defy Media Close $70 Million Series B Funding Round

YouTube Space LA Halloween Set 2016

YouTube Spaces Team with Jason Blum (‘The Purge’)...

Yahoo Esports

‘Yahoo Esports Live’ Serves Up Reeses Puffs with...


Univision and Lionsgate Team for SVOD Movie Service for U.S. Hispanics

People Entertainment Weekly PEN

People/Entertainment Weekly Ad-Supported OTT Service Preps for Launch

George_Kliavkoff Jaunt VR

Jaunt VR Hires Hearst Exec George Kliavkoff as CEO

Making a Murderer Netflix

‘Making a Murderer’ Scores for Netflix at Creative...

Future Man Hulu Josh Hutcherson

Hulu Orders ‘Future Man’ Series Starring Josh...

Heirloom Paten Hughes Tom Wopat Vimeo

How an Actress’ Real-Life Tomato Farm Inspired the New...

Robert Redford and Jane Fonda Electric Horseman

Netflix Rolls Camera on Robert Redford & Jane Fonda...


Amazon Greenlights Docu-Series on Tennis Star Novak Djokovic

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler 2-4-15

It’s Apps or Else: FCC Chairman Wheeler Clarifies Rule...