Please brands, no April Fools’ Day pranks this year


April’s Folk’s day is almost here. It will mean a lot of companies pulling their regular fun divisions in more traditional times.

I plead: Please, no to those labels. Not this year. Not this year.

Not because the coronavirus sicks and kills thousands of people throughout the world. Yes, yes. Please. We don’t just need the stupid humor, the fake, the stuff. 

Last week, over three million Americans lost their jobs. Some of the brands which usually do so-called pranks have thrown people off are reasonable. Everybody’s afraid, pretty much. It’s bad stuff! We get worse! We get worse! They’re going to just keep getting worse! 

Of starters, we had “Petlexa” last year from Amazon, whopper toothpaste, and mayonnaise candy from Heinz. You have seen these branches — you are compassionate enough to look at them as “pranks.” And those appeared to be the good brand bunches. 

At best, these kinds of stuff make you chuckle a little. They usually come from a brand that makes so hard to persuade you that they are a person.

Things go wrong too many times. 

Ed Zitron, Chief of EZPR Media Relations Officer, said, “April Fools ‘ jokes suck generally and they are the bottom of the barrel. 

But it is a particularly bad idea, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, to pull out some fake “fun.” And just for being clear, if you are a quarantine person or someone who is stuck at home that wants a harmless April Fool’s Day prank to kill time: feel free. Here we’re debating labels. There is some simple advice here if you are a PR or branding person thinking to make a big joke on April 1: just stay home, don’t.

“It will be Twitter’s main character for the day when every company is foolhardy enough to do that,” Zitron said. 

In the shtick, marketers have been using a sense of morality in the world while fairly tired. A business playing “joy” in the midst of the coronavirus crisis to try and pull in cash or publicity would hardly go well.

Annecdotally, about April Fools ‘ Day there seems to be fewer pitches on the inboxes of reporters. Maybe it is a positive thing that marketers endorse the holiday because of the deadly, terrifying pandemic. Zitron was not so confident that it felt there was a company attempting to turn April Fools with the virus into something terrible.

“It will be around the virus, just too myopic,” he said. “Then some dipshit would say’ there’s nothing like the bad news’… I would like to be sure that there is something like bad ads.’

Zitron said PR people sometimes lose their sense of reality and seek to force an angle regardless of the subject. This April Fools is a bad idea because anyone tried to do that with the coronavirus.

“The only thing I’m unsure of is how insensitive it’s going to be,” Zitron said. “We have the potential of a Barry Bonds of insensitive PR.”


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