April Fool’s Day Brand Pranks: Netflix Is Merciless, Google Drops the Ball + More
Ah, April Fools’ Day—also known as the day your coworkers will likely annoy you with their super not-funny versions of office pranks, your significant other might fake-break-up with you and your Facebook friends will probably be posting a ton of dumb crap (sorry to get your hopes up—Trump’s still in the running). Worst of all, “hip” and “with it” brands are going to try really hard to seem tongue-in-cheek — bombarding you with ridiculous ads, campaigns, announcements, and apps in a desperate bid to get your retweets, likes, and comments.
But guys, DON’T. FALL. FOR. IT.
We’ve rounded up the best of the best-worst corporate hijinks from the likes of GQ, Virgin, Google and beyond, so you don’t get made an April-fool of. Some are funny, some are cringeworthy.
Virgin America’s cups runneth over
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Launched by real-life-Tony Stark Richard Branson, Virgin’s always been viewed as a sexy brand, embracing evolving technologies, cultural conversion and a sleek, chic design aesthetic that appeals to forward-thinkers. Yesterday, the company’s Virgin America airline brand unveiled their “new logo” in an over-the-top video mocking inspirational corporate clips. We actually have have to hand it to Virgin: The mock commercial is pretty funny. As for the logo though, it’s boobs, which is basically the punchline of a five-year-old boy on the playground. And yes, some people do think it’s real:
No one during this entire process went, "Hey, this looks like boobs." NO ONE???? Great job, Virgin America. https://t.co/6O8AucEjo3
— Cindy Jackson (@Cindycjax) March 31, 2016
Yes Cindy, they did think it looked like boobs. That was the point.
Netflix, have mercy!
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I’m not gonna lie: Anything with John Stamos will grab my attention, whether it’s a yogurt commercial or a cheesy reboot of a beloved family sitcom. The man is a walking Grecian statue with a sense of humor, and it works for me. But one thing I know for certain is that Stamos, as much as Netflix might want you to believe, is NOT a Michael Jackson-like figure with a legendary air and large-than-life life journey, which is exactly what the Fuller House actor is being touted as in the trailer for a fake docu-series called “John Stamos: A Human, Being.”
Hulu and commit?
That Netflix-and-chill life is so 2015. Now it’s time to find and really commit to “the one,” and Hulu wants to make it happen for you. The streaming site has launched a (fake, obviously) dating app on their service called HuluDatr that promises to match viewers with their perfect partners by analyzing viewing habits. Love The Voice? Empire? Spongebob Squarepants? Whatever your entertainment preference, HuluDatr will help you find your channel-surfing soulmate. Except it wont, because it’s a bad idea and not real anyway.
George puts the “G” in GQ
If you’ve been to GQ magazine‘s homepage this morning, you already know the chiseled cover boys, sports stars, and pouty, scantily-clad ladies have been replaced by George Constanza. Yes, that George—Jerry Seinfeld’s neurotic, narcissistic, and delightfully entertaining friend on the cult ’90s sitcom. Jason Alexander’s iconic TV character is blasted across the publication’s site, appearing on articles like “Four Raincoats You’ll Actually Want to Wear.” If you still need your fix of gym tips and sexy babes, fear not: Scroll down the page, and GQ‘s regularly-scheduled content is just under the fold.
Google drops the mic… and the ball
First things first: Minions suck. They’re unfunny, annoying and they definitely don’t belong anywhere near your e-mails. Google didn’t get the memo when they launched their mic drop feature for April Fool’s Day. The feature added a GIF of a minion literally dropping the mic to any emails you responded to while using it, and it backfired in a big way. In addition to the annoying GIF, which no-doubt resulted in a number of inappropriate correspondences, the feature also ended up blocking replies sent back from any recipients of the mic drop message. This, of course, ended up enraging users who did not mean to mute their chain of communication with these recipients, many of which were work-related, and some users are even claiming that the mishap cost them their jobs. Yikes.
Fortunately, Google has since disabled the feature following an outpouring of angry and frustrated user complaints, and the company has also apologized.