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The best ever April Fools' Day campaigns

On 1st April every year, brands go to some extraordinarily creative lengths to grab our attention. Which ones have got our team giggling — or even got us fooled?

Updated: April 2024

April Fools' Day is a time for brands to push the boundaries when it comes to their marketing, making the most of the opportunity to create elaborate campaigns that show off their cheekier side. A perfect opportunity to drive brand awareness and be at the forefront of the conversation — when done well, that is.

Which brands had us fooled, giggling or captured the mood particularly well?

ASDA — Weetabix and Heinz beans in a can

Bean can with weetabix on the front

You may remember when Weetabix posted a tweet of their breakfast cereal topped with Heinz baked beans, which led to a viral twitter thread where over 140 brands got involved, which got everyone talking. From KFC and Specsavers, to the NHS, Ford and Domino’s pizza, brands provided a masterclass on how to use your voice to engage with audiences and get involved in viral moments.

For April Fools' Day, supermarket chain ASDA capitalised on the virality of the original tweet with their offering of a Weetabix and Heinz beans tin. Their short video promoting the tin received over 17k views on Twitter alone, and was picked up by both national and trade press in coverage of brands’ pranks.

Building upon viral moments and incorporating them into your April Fools' campaign, or at any other time of year, is a great way of remaining at the forefront of conversation and maximising the potential virality of your own marketing. Although completely repulsive as an idea for an actual meal, here at Extreme we loved this April Fools' prank.

Lego — smart bricks

girl playing with lego

Almost everyone has felt the sudden, sharp pain of standing on a piece of lego at least once in their life. With that in mind, their April Fools' Day ‘smart bricks’ was a clever and on-the-nose execution of a prank everyone loved.

To avoid the pain and embarrassment of hopping around after standing on the lego, their latest design simply scatters in all directions when it senses a foot approaching. With over 410k views on twitter, 17.1k likes and over three thousand comments, the concept was welcomed by many who could clearly relate to the pain.

This is a brilliant example of tailoring your campaign to address some of the pain points or potential negatives associated with your brand, and making a lighthearted joke about it. There’s no better time of year than April to have a bit of a laugh and poke fun at yourselves.

Duolingo — turn your bathroom into a classroom

Turn your bathroom into a classroom with toilet roll on a green background

The popular language learning platform created a toilet paper that teaches you common phrases from languages around the world, with the tagline, ‘Turn your bathroom into a classroom’.

With its own landing page and witty copy which included, ‘Soak up essential phrases’, and ‘Absorb all the most useful terminology’, the campaign was a huge hit with consumers. Amassing over 30.3k likes on twitter, and dozens of press mentions around the world, their April Fools' Day prank was a huge success.

We loved the creativity of this campaign, and use of playful landing page copy, so we had to include it in our roundup.

SodaStream — self-made sparkling water

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Carbonated drinks specialists, SodaStream featured American astronaut Scott Kelly, best known for spending the most time in space in a previous April Fools' Day campaign.

The space pro was the face of their new SodaStreamMe, an on-the-go bottle that allows you to carbonate your own drink simply by blowing into it, aimed at serial burpers having claimed to solve their surplus gas problem.

The ad has almost millions of views on Youtube, and featured heavily on press roundups of 2019s best April Fools' Day rankings. Creative, funny and with the caption, ‘One small burp for man, one sparkling leap for mankind’, it earned a spot on our list too.

Google Netherlands — Google Tulip

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Accompanied by a very convincing video and powered by AI, in 2020 Google announced that 'Google Assistant on phones and Google Home is now able to understand tulips, allowing translation between Tulipish and dozens of human languages'.

Bravo, Google.

McDonald's — milkshake sauce pots

Milkshake sauce packets.

Now then, be honest, have you ever tried dipping your chips into a milkshake? This divisive flavour pairing first grew popular in the States, and soon became known around the world as something you’ve got to try.

It became so popular in fact, that McDonalds once incorporated it into their April Fools' Day marketing campaign, announcing mini milkshake sauce pots. For those who love the sweet-salty combo, they were overjoyed to see the launch, before realising it was a hoax.

The short ad racked up over 875.6k views on twitter, and over eight thousand likes around launch. While disappointing for some, McDonalds did not go on to launch the mini shake pots. However, that doesn’t mean to say you can’t use April Fools' Day to test the waters on how new products may be received.

ThinkGeek are now well known for turning their April Fools' Day pranks into actual products you can buy. Their most celebrated one dates all the way back to 2009, with the launch of the Tauntaun sleeping bag which has regularly sold out over the years. With an intestine-print lining and lightsaber zipper, it’s an impressively accurate recreation of the iconic scene in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and even received a write up in The New York Times.

Lululemon — spray-on yoga pants

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Great ideas live on, so we’re taking you all the way back to 2014, when comedian Jimmy Kimmel partnered with gym clothing specialists Lululemon to create a spray on yoga pant spoof in response to some schools in the U.S banning their yoga pants for being too tight and ‘causing male students to go through puberty prematurely.’

The product description on their website for the spray on leggings, priced at a whopping $1,200 a can read, "Goodbye pants, hello comfort. Designed for lightweight flexibility and versatility, our newest innovation, Spray-On Yoga Pants, will take us to and through our practice without the fuss. The breathable, seamless construction provides next-level comfort whether we’re headed straight to class or the cafe."

The late night tv show host’s video clip of the segment has to date been viewed almost 6.8m times, and received coverage from media outlets throughout the U.S and beyond. Not only was it witty and creative, it took a stand against the ridiculous and misogynistic rulings from the schools that had banned them. And for that, they had to feature on our roundup!

While some of the classics were some time ago, many of them cannot be de-throned, but while we’re here, let’s take a quick look at what April Fools’ Day 2022 had to offer.

Little TikesCosy Coupe Cabs

Cosy Couple Cabs April Fools' prank.

This is a team favourite. You’re probably familiar with the hugely popular red and yellow plastic cars that kids love. Well, for great fuel economy and a simply way to navigate the London traffic, Little Tikes fooled us all with the ‘launch’ of the Cosy Coupe Cab - a same-size fleet for adults seeking a solution to traffic and rising gas prices! This stunt earnt the brand many mentions online and was a huge hit with consumers - just the right mix of silly from a brand with strong nostalgia among its customers.

Primarkthe big name change

A screenshot of the poll Primark ran on April Fools' Day about a name change.

As you may be aware, Primark goes by the name Penneys in some locations. Social media users were invited to make the combo name change on April Fools’ Day, selecting their fave between Penmark and Primneys!

Tinder — fish ban

One of our favourites from 2023 was the Tinder fish ban. In response to many a meme about just how many men pose with their latest catch in their dating profiles, and in an attempt to stop catfishing (🙄), the app said 'no more' - but just for one day!

Channel Four — 'minus one'

Another great addition to the list from 2023's offerings includes Channel 4's tongue in cheek 'minus one' offering, so you can watch your faves an hour earlier if you have other plans!

Channel 4 minus one

Is your brand getting involved in April Fools' Day in one way or another? If you need help coming up with seasonal campaigns that excite and engage consumers, our team of experts are on hand to help.

Need a hand with your next marketing campaign?

Get in touch

Post by

Team Amy K


Head of Brand & Content

Amy joined in 2014 to set up our Content department. She now heads up a growing Brand and Content team, utilising over 13 years’ experience to deliver brand awareness through targeted, multi-channel copy. As well as engaging content for websites and blogs, Amy delivers PR strategies and tone of voice exploration, helping clients to communicate the purpose and values of their brand with maximum impact.

Post by

Team Johnny


Content Strategist

Johnny has been working magic with words at Extreme since 2016, with a particular focus on SEO content strategies. Fancy taking your organic search visibility up a notch? He's your guy.

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