Top 10 April Fool’s Stunts

PR Practitioners everywhere seemed to have a field day yesterday! Here’s my list of the top 10 pranks of the day:

Google

Regular pranksters Google certainly did not disappoint this year! Now I could probably write a whole post purely on Google’s April Fools stunts from yesterday, but I’ll cut to the chase:

Google Nose: First up is Google Nose, as its name implies, the service lets you search to find out what your queries smell like. You make think that only an idiot would believe it, but after reading some long technical words, many of us must have pulled our screens a little closer and had a sniff!

Google Maps Treasure Mode: Google created a treasure map mode on Google Maps along with a video announcement telling us that the ‘Google Maps Street View team’ have found a treasure map belonging to an infamous pirate. They said the map contains a variety of encrypted symbols which you are tasked with decoding.

Gmail Blue: This one is said to be a dig at Microsoft’s future Windows 8 revamp, also to be named Blue. Google created an almost two minute long video explaining the new technology that is going into their new Gmail design, only to find out at the end, that they just coloured everything blue!

Google seemed to have a bottom-less budget in their marketing and PR department this year. They also made up pranks with Google+, Australian Google Street View, Google Enterprise and…


…YouTube
YouTube took to their blog and posted a video to tell us that their site was set up merely as a way to find the best online video in the world. The video claimed that they had enough footage to end the competition and close down the page.

Bing
If you happened to be on Bing.com yesterday (which I’m sure you didn’t), you would have got a shock. The site completely changed how it looked if you typed “google” in the rival search engine. It was still regular Bing under the surface but the layout was a copy of Google’s. And just for an extra dig, you could either press the “Search” or the hilarious “I’m Feeling Confused” button instead.

Twitter
Yesterday morning Twitter announced it will no longer allow the use of vowels in tweets. The social networking site said that by eliminating vowels, they are helping tweeters to a “more efficient, and ‘dense’ form of communication.” And if you really can’t live in a world without vowels, Twttr (as it renamed itself) will allow you to tweet A, E, I, O and U for the small fee of $5 a month.

Sony Animalia
Sony had us all laughing with a video telling us they are releasing a new “Animalia” line of products for your tech product-starved pets. Because apparently your hamsters needs a good beat whilst on their exercise wheels and your cat would love some headphones to block humans out!

Virgin Atlantic Glass Bottom Plane
The folks at Virgin Atlantic Airways can never pass up an April Fools. This year they took to Richard Branson’s blog to reveal a glass-bottom airplane supposedly made so we can “appreciate the beauty of the British landscape” whilst flying!

BMW Pram
BMW unveiled a new product yesterday, a pram! Or should I say ‘the limited edition BMW P.R.A.M. (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile).’  Available in Princess Pink or Royal Blue, the soft-top convertible has been designed especially for the arrival of the new Royal baby.

The Metro
I won’t deny it, this April fool even got me! The Metro published a roundup of stunts from yesterday such as The Sun joking that the Angel of the North will be renamed ‘Cheryl Cole’ and the Guardian trying to fool us that scientist have bred rabbits with human ears. Only when you get to the end do you realise they were all completely made up!

Sacla Italia
Italian food brand Sacla added a touch of tech to its April Fool’s joke with the announcement of its latest product, ‘Twitteroni pasta – Eat what you tweet’. Rather like tinned alphabet spaghetti, Twitteroni pasta is shaped into letters, but also includes hash tags and the @ symbol.

The Huffington Post
The latest addition to the London skyline became the world’s best thrill-ride according to The Huffington Post yesterday when they unveiled ‘The Shlide’ – the helter-skelter style slide around Europe’s tallest skyscraper, The Shard.

 

What was your favourite April fool’s stunt from yesterday? Is there anything I’ve missed?

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Student Wire

Recently the team at Dinosaur PR  launched an online student magazine – Student Wire. A website specifically for students, written by students about being a student! Whilst on a two week work placement with the agency, I was lucky enough to get involved.

 

Their client The Student Store wanted to create a thriving online community of students who can help each other out, give advice and provide great content and articles. The team at Dinosaur got to work and put together focus groups of students from local universities to bring together ideas of what we could do. We came up with Student Wire.  Emilie Sillett, a second year public relations undergraduate and current intern at Dinosaur PR was made editor of the website due to her bubbly personality and passion for blog writing. She was then asked to recruit a team of budding journalists to help her write for the magazine.

 

After the website had been set up, it was time for it to go live and see what the public made of it. To gain interest, the site was seeded online through social media and student forums, getting as many people as possible to check it out and create a buzz around and about the site. After just two weeks Student Wire is a great success and a hit with under graduates from several universities in the UK.

 

So far writers from Leeds Metropolitan, Liverpool John Moore’s, University of Salford and London Metropolitan provide advice, news and ideas on anything from how to choose your student accommodation to how to cure a hangover. Emilie is always looking for interesting features and creative writers so drop her an email if you think you are cut out for the job –contact@studentwire.co.uk.

For an idea of some of the topics we write about at Student Wire, check out my favourite posts so far:

  1. The Student Halls Lottery by Sarah Raynard
  2. Clubbing.. Why bother? by editor, Emilie Sillett
  3. Celebrities And Their Surprising, Unrelated Degrees by Amanda Champion
  4. And have a look at my own article, Technology That Will Make Life Easier.

 

And finally, the sponsors of Student Wire – the Student Store have recently launched a photo competition of ‘the work space from hell’.  Be it your messy student house, your dirty desk or your rotten bedroom we want to see. The winner will be determined by public vote via the Student Wire Facebook page – so be creative as possible and you could be in with a chance £100 shopping voucher and the Adobe Creative Cloud software up for grabs! Apply here.