April Fools Day is usually a fun day with pranks, goofs, and hilarity all around. However with the current world climate, many companies who usually take part in tricking the internet have decided to skip April Fool’s Day 2020.
In trying to not let the spirit of April Fool’s Day die this year, here are some of the Greatest Hits of April Fools Day Internet Hoaxes of the past 10 years:
2010: Google renames their company “Topeka”
Oh, 2010 was a simpler time. That year, Topeka, Kansas informally renamed their town “Google” for the month of March. Mayor Bill Bunten told CNN that he was doing it for “fun,” and Google reciprocated the gesture by renaming the search engine “Topeka.” Google has been notorious for an annual April Fool’s Day prank every year, but decided to sit out of 2020.
2011: Youtube travels back to 1911
Youtube got in their time machine and went back to 1911 for their 2011 April Fool’s Day Prank. The site featured vintage-looking logos and a 1911 button that let users experience what youtube was like in 1911. They even made a video showing off some of Youtube’s ancestors like “The Irksome Citrus”, “Flugelhorn Feline”, and “Ruth Roll’d.”
2012: Kodak Liveprint
Poking fun at then-new 3d printing technology, kodak unveiled their breakthrough technology Liveprint! Go to any KODAK Picture Kiosk in stores, select from 12 popular breeds of cats, wait 90-seconds, and fall in love with your brand new kitten! With 3D printing now having the capability to print medical equipment and even fully functional organs, this idea may not be too far off from being reality..
On April 1st, 2013, Twitter announced it was moving to a two-tier service. The first, free option, “Twttr” allowed users to only use consonants in their messages. the second option allowed for users to pay $5/month to utilize vowels. The only exception to free users is the hybrid vowel/consonant “Y,” which Twitter explained “Because our users come first, we believe that “Y” should always be free to everyone — today and forever.”
2014: Google Maps: Pokemon Challenge
In what ultimately was a giant precursor for the wildly successful Pokemon Go mobile game, Google maps previewed a brand new game where you set out into the real world to capture Pokemon through the lens of your phone camera. While Google Maps never released this product in this capacity (they left that to the folks at Niantic Labs), they did sneak a Pokemon collection mini-game into their app for a short time.
2015: Simon Cowell’s Face on Currency
In 2015, UK tabloid newspaper The Sun reported that the face of reality singing competitions “American Idol” and “Britain/America’s Got Talent” would take his rightful place among the Queen, Charles Darwin, and Adam Smith as historical British people to appear on British banknotes.
2016: The “G” in GQ Stands for George Costanza
GQ was invaded by Seinfeld character George Costanza all over their front page. The site replaced image placeholders with pictures of George – although the articles made no mention of him. We think that was the height of GQ, but that’s just us…
2017: Hu Short Cuts
With attention spans getting shorter and shorter nowadays with Tik Tok and memes in their prime, Hulu jumped on the train with 8-second shows to keep people’s attention. They actually have a couple of dramatically shortened show playlists on their Youtube channel.
2018: Netflix Acquires Seth Rogan
You didn’t think Hulu was going to be the only streaming service to get in on the fun, did you? In 2018, Netflix announced that they had acquired the full rights to actor and comedian Seth Rogan, including his “mind, body, and soul.”
“Why acquire a talented person’s ideas when we can just acquire the talented person?”
2019: Duolingo Push
If Duolingo’s daily reminder push notifications aren’t affective, then Doulingo Push is perfect for you! Instead of a daily push notification, a large, green Duolingo Owl (Duo) appears wherever you are. The owl can come in three modes: encouraging, disappointed, or passive aggressive. At least they are self-aware of their brand and app…
While most companies may be stepping back from April Fool’s Day pranks this year, a few brands have had some fun today. While I understand that companies are being cautious of the spread of misinformation during this time, I think it can add some comic relief and entertainment to everyone’s day.