The Best April Fools' Pranks of 2016

So April 1st came and went, and props to you if you managed to get through it unscathed! But as much as we enjoyed stifling the odd chuckle at humble prank attempts from friends on Facebook, those were unfortunately nothing compared to some of the gags major (and minor) corporations pulled this year. It takes some balls to be able to put your brand’s name and reputaion on the line, all for a good laugh – but pulling it off just makes it all the more impressive. Here’s a round-up of all our faves.
1. Lindt vegetable-flavoured chocolate

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Yum? Following up from 2015’s garlic-infused chocolate prank, the Swiss chocolatier took to Facebook to announce a new flavour to their popular treats – none other than “irresistibly smooth” broccoli.
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2. AerieMan

American Eagle’s female-only lingerie subsidiary led the guffaws with its video introduction of #AerieMan – a campaign very in line with their positive body image efforts but this time, featuring very real, very, erm, sensual dudes. While the joke definitely was in good fun, Aerie proceeded to follow up with an official statement announcing that the brand would henceforth “forego retouching its male models in its underwear and swim images beginning holiday 2016”, just like it had done with its female models. While the rest of the world is still caught up in petty offence and hurling backlash, we say: take a chill pill, guys; it was still a funny video.
3. LlaoBroccoli

What’s with the obsession with using veggie-flavoured desserts as a joke?? Seems like even our Singaporean subsidiary brands know how to let loose and have fun, though we can’t imagine who would actually queue for broccoli-flavoured frozen yogurt.
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4. Charlie Lim as Singapore’s next EDM artist

Absolutely adorable. In a gag geared towards all the #supportlocal fans here on the island, the folks over at Bandwagon (a local startup centred around all things music in Asia) gave singer-songwriter Charlie Lim a boost in announcing his retirement from the local indie music scene – for a burgeoning new career in electronic dance music. We like how they neatly slipped in Avicii’s retirement from EDM as opening new doors for Lim, but major props for the effort to do an actual interview featuring snooty answers you wouldn’t usually expect from the genteel musician. And the album title “Live. Laugh. Love”? Luvvit.
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5. Mark Zuckerberg for H&M
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In this epic April Fools’ collaboration, one thing stands out – Mark Zuckerberg sure is a good sport. The exclusive H&M collection is simple and to the point – just like the CEO of Facebook himself – comprising Zuckerberg’s signature blue jeans and basic grey T-shirt. Well, seven basic grey tees, that is – one for every day of the week. We love the attention to detail in the website and product photography; there’s even a handy lookbook to illustrate just how versatile this powerful look is, if you didn’t already realise. But jokes aside, is it scary that we could actually see this collaboration being legit?
Shop the look at:
6. Imjennim styles a trash bag

While the bubbly youtuber behind fashion styling channel ClothesEncounters isn’t exactly a corporation risking big bucks, her legion of 1.6 million subscribers definitely aren’t a trifle fan base to be messed with. Which is why her endearing joke styling video involving household waste bags and, for the first time, voiced by her British boyfriend, makes it onto our list. Fair warning before you watch – she actually makes it look good.
7. Lairbnb

Sorry world, but this prank was hands down our favourite. By now we’re all used to AirBnb’s killer video and marketing team, so when they released a promo trailer advertising fantasy lairs for booking for your next holiday, you can imagine we were all spellbound – even if it was just a joke. But the folks at AirBnb took it one step further – by making these accommodation options a reality. Navigating the site, you’ll be able to find genuine listings on Airbnb that promise a real fantasy experience; whether it’s living in an underground home fit for a hobbit, or hiding out in a real-life Scandinavian castle.
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And that’s how you capitalise on April Fools’ for marketing, folks.
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