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Users react to 5 online April Fool's Day jokes

Spencer Lanoue  |  April 01, 2016

April Fool’s Day is the one day of the year where companies have a free pass to step outside their usual personalities and show a more light-hearted, funny side—and remind users that there are real humans behind the design. But not all pranks hit the mark, so it’s important to understand your audience’s sense of humor and tolerance for surprises.   When done right, April Fool's jokes can actually help your brand. Delivering a playful, memorable experience that makes your users laugh can help to create a stronger connection with them and to distinguish yourself from competitors. And bringing a smile to a user’s face can transform their perception of your brand from likable to lovable, which could make all the difference. This year we scoured the web to find examples of brands who are using April Fool’s Day as an opportunity to deliver a fun experience, connect with their users on a different level, and stand apart from the rest. Here are our five favorite pranks, accompanied by a short clip of real people responding to them. Enjoy!

1. Lexus: High-performance velcro car seats

Lexus announced a new V-LCRO technology that creates the strongest possible connection between driver and vehicle. (Spoiler alert: it’s Velcro.) Our test participant found the joke hilarious—especially when the driver couldn’t get out of the seat.

2. Prysm: Aerosol TV screens you can spray on your wall

Prysm released an innovative new TV screen: one that comes out of an aerosol spray can. It had our participant fooled for a moment, but when she caught onto the joke, she noted that it made the company seem lighthearted.

3. Esurance: Election Insurance in case you leave the country

For U.S. voters who are nervous about the outcome of this year’s presidential election, Esurance unveiled Election Insurance, which promises to protect the customer’s home for four years while they move away to Canada. Our test participant got a laugh out of the joke, and she even stated the company’s evident sense of humor made her seriously consider doing business with them.

4. Zoosk: Online dating site based on burrito preferences

Dating site Zoosk revealed its spinoff site called Burrit-OH! which matches users with potential partners based on their preferences of burrito ingredients. Our users found the gag amusing, acknowledging that burrito preference is "a really shallow way to connect with anyone."

5. YouTube: Watch 360-degree videos with Snoop Dogg

Finally, YouTube announced its new product feature, SnoopaVision, which allows users to watch online videos in a 3D virtual world while sitting next to Snoop Dogg. While our test participants found the concept funny, most of them didn’t fully understand that they could click and drag to look in a 360-degree arc around the room, so they couldn’t enjoy the complete SnoopaVision experience.

What was your favorite April Fool's Day joke?

Which April Fool's prank made you laugh the hardest this year? Share your favorite with us on Twitter!

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About the author:

Spencer Lanoue is a marketer who helps UX designers, PMs, and marketers make things people want.