21 Pranks, Fake Products, And Other Corporate Attempts At April Fools’ Day Relevance

Ever since April 1, 1922 when our print forerunner, The Consumerist Bugle-Gazette, ran an April Fools’ Day cover story that unwittingly — but accurately — announced the death of exiled Austrian Emperor Charles I, we’ve not tempted fate and avoided such tomfoolery. But others aren’t burdened by these ghosts of Aprils gone awry.

If you are paying any attention to the Internet today, odds are you’re aware that today is the day when companies try to prove their cleverness/drum up some brand interest with big announcements on April Fools’ Day. We decided to round up all those desperate attempts at relevance and stick’em in one spot, so you can get all those groans out with a single blow.

1. Quilted Northern: Bespoke artisanal toilet paper

Bathroom tissue products too mainstream for you? We can easily imagine a world of hand-pulped, hand-perforated, artisanally crafted toilet paper. Behold, hipsters, Rustic Weave.

2. White Castle: Nationwide Crave Case delivery drones

Jonesing for 30 White Castle sliders? The CrazyCopter is here to save the day — if it was a real thing delivering Crave Cases and not the chain’s April Fools’ prank. Don’t get our hopes up, man.

3. Royal Caribbean space cruises

For those who are curious about what getting norovirus in space would be like, Royal Caribbean has a fake answer! “Orbiter of the Galaxies, our first ever spaceship, will take its first guests to space in 2030. Combining features from our current fleet with space travel, prepare for an extraordinary holiday,” the company says on a site dedicated to the space-age prank.

4. Google Cardboard Plastic

Why be so literal when it comes to virtual reality? Google’s prank product will offer users a clear view of… reality. Like, real reality, as in the opposite of virtual reality. Someone is probably trying to buy this right now.

5. Cornhub, fulfilling hot corn addicts everywhere

Pornhub knows how much its users love having a searchable site for all their porn needs, so why not appeal to all those corn fans out there with an online destination for the hottest corn action?

6. DoorDash hires doggy delivery staff

What’s better than getting food delivered to your door by a nice human? Getting it dropped off by a Corgie. DoorDash taps into the collective desire for cuteness with DoggyDash, featuring doggie delivery.

“Their keen sense of smell can recognize all your favorite restaurants, meaning unparalleled order accuracy every time,” DoorDash says. “And by delivering each order with a friendly face and a wag of a tail, we know they’ll leave you begging for more.” Again, don’t toy with our emotions, people.

7. Sally Beauty pet “pawducts”

Speaking of dogs, Rover’s paws are looking a bit ruff lately. Sally Beauty has the perfect line of fake products for your pooch this April Fools’ Day. Our favorite? “You Not Stanky Now,” the best name for a fake pet product we’ve ever heard.

8. Alaska’s capital city renamed in deal with Mattel

Juneau, AK will be no more under the terms of an agreement with Mattel to rename the city Uno, after the color-and-number matching card game. Except that it’s April Fools’ Day, so nothing will actually change.

“We sort of thought, ‘How do we go wild for UNO and what’s something we can do that’s wild?'” said Ray Adler, the company’s director of global games in a press release. “And we looked to the great outdoors.”

9. Hulu launches a dating app

Maybe you’ve heard of “Netflix and chill,” but Hulu wants to take a more proactive approach in involving itself in your dating life with its romance app, HuluDatr. A fake approach that takes into account the TV habits of successful marriages, since compatibility in that area is an important part of any relationship.

“HuluDatr is the revolutionary free new app that Hulu viewers can opt-in to that will transform the way soul mates find one another,” the streaming video company says on its site.

10. Airbnb launches Lairbnb

Hey, heroes and evildoers! Do you have a lair sitting around empty, waiting for just the right scheming genius to occupy it? Check out Airbnb’s new fake service for lair owners in need of renters to provide them with a little extra cash.

11. Real Ghostbusters proton packs

Sony is toying with Ghostbusters‘ fans emotions with this real-life proton pack to catch ghosts. It’ll be available July 15, which just so happens to be the same date the new Ghostbusters flick lands in theaters. Ah, the classic marketing stunt in April Fools’ Day clothing.

12. Realtor.com pet home listings

If your dog or cat is looking for that perfect furr-ever home, Realtor.com has the fake service for you. With addresses like “Hairball Lane” and “Best Friend Drive,” it’s quite clear that your furry friend won’t be moving into their own pricy pad anytime soon.


13. GrubHub introduces new Grüber app

Need a ride somewhere and want to smell someone else’s lunch at the same time? That’s weird, but GrubHub has you covered with its new fake app, Grüber, which “will allow people who love both the smell of food and new cars, and the delight of a car showing up the moment they need transportation, to hitch a ride with Grubhub’s restaurant delivery drivers.”

“When riders get in the car, they will enter a world of sensory delights. The faint smell of someone else’s food, controlled by our patented ventilation system to ensure the perfect balance between food fragrance and new car smell, will fill the car with the perfect scent,” GrubHub’s announcement reads. “Concurrently, the food’s presence will keep the seat next to the rider warm and the sample-sized snacks will ensure that riders are never hungry.”
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14. Esurance offering election insurance

Every election year, some folks start to grumble about how they’ll move out of the country if their preferred candidate doesn’t win. Esurance is here for you, in the way that any other company announcing news on April 1 is, with election insurance.

“This unique (bipartisan) coverage will protect your home for the next four years if your preferred candidate loses the presidential election and you choose to leave the country,” the company says.

15. Lyft wants to help prank your pals

Lyft is offering free “prank” rides for customers in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco. It involves forcing your friend to get in a car with you — and the driver is in on the whole thing.

“Want to get in on the prank action? Start the shenanigans with the tap of a button,” Lyft says. “From 11 AM – 5 PM this Friday, you can request Lyft to come play a prank on one of your friends.”

16. Zipcar Selfie Driving

Zipcar is admitting it’s obsessed with its customers, with a new hoax campaign that uses selfies to match customers with just the right car, based on their expressions and other mysterious algorithms. Bad hair day? “Tinted windows comin’ at ya,” Zipcar’s video says.

17. OpenTable’s lickable taste tests

As if it’s not already gross enough to think about what germs you touch on your phone with your hands, Opentable’s April Fools’ joke would have customers licking photos on their phones to taste a restaurant’s food before they arrive.

18. Groupon deal for professional cat readers

Because it knows everyone loves to pamper their cats, Groupon has a fake offer that will get feline fans purring with happiness until they realize that no one will actually be reading aloud to their cats.

“We’ve hand-picked expert feline readers who are skilled at delivering a gripping tale to your friend with a tail,” Groupon says. “Imagine the blank stare of pride in your cat’s eyes when she hears the inspiring story of the lion, Aslan, in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Or the unblinking gaze of total excitement as she puzzles out the whodunit plot of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.”
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19. Lexus’ Velcro safety solution

This one’s pretty simple. Velcro on person, Velcro on Lexus car seat, driver stays put. It’s not real though. Is anything real today? We’re not entirely sure at this point.

20. YouTube introduces Snoopavision

Sure, you could watch a video on YouTube the regular way… or you could watch it and ANY other videos in 360 degrees with Snoop Dogg! Or YouTube is punking us, because it’s April 1. Dammit, YouTube. Make this real. Just this one.

21. Gmail’s attempt at a mic drop

And then there’s Gmail’s April Fools’ Day gaffe, which it was busy apologizing for before the day had barely begun: a “Mic Drop & Send” button that would insert an animation of a Minion from the Despicable Me movies and mute any replies to that email. When people accidentally hit that button instead of “send,” confusion ensued and Google pulled the plug.
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