Another April Fools’ Day and another chance for companies to try and catch you out with increasingly believable and creative jokes, and this year was no exception.
With efforts spanning across the spectrum from the likes of Kiss FM (who didn’t really seem to understand April Fools’ Day), to Santander who seemingly forgot and hashed together a last minute Photoshop effort (albeit not a bad idea!), to the usual big contenders that demonstrated superb efforts.
One of the first stories to break this morning was the announcement that former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson had joined the Guardian team backing the campaign for fossil fuel divestment. Following the recent “fracas” Clarkson is hoping to “regain the trust of the British public” by “dedicating his time and financial resources to sustainable energy, road safety and forging mutual understanding and tolerance between people of different cultures and religions”. Very good!
As ever, Google lead the way in brilliant April Fools releases. My day started with the introduction of com.google for a suitably confusing stunt before I even realised what day it was!
Then building on the success of the Google Maps Pokémon Challenge last year the real winner of today comes in the form of Google Maps – Pac-Man. Head over to Google Maps, click the Pac-Man icon in the bottom left et voilà! I wonder how many hours people lost today playing that – it really is superb!
You can play anywhere in the world that has enough roads to constitute a level and, as Wired pointed out, the Taj Mahal even offers a Pac-Man-esque level layout.
Another big name brand that took part today was Virgin. After discovering that his great-great-uncle founded the city of Branson, Missouri, Richard Branson has announced that he is moving the Virgin Group back to the American city where it all began.
The plan includes moving Virgin America, Virgin Hotels, and Virgin Limited Edition.
A number of other jokes caught my eye throughout the day as well.
A mere 15 years in the making and we now have a clear version of everyone’s favourite love it or hate it spread. Apparently, psychologists say “eating dark-coloured foods for breakfast can provoke feelings of negativity” whereas this “light” and “positive” version “will keep you feeling chirpy all day long”.
Google’s SketchUp announced an improved user experience with the addition of Adventure Mode.
Monument by Fabian Cancellara
Pro cycling Team Trek Factory announced a new scent for the top step of the podium with Monument by Fabian Cancellara aka Spartacus! Prepare to smell like victory.
The rather disturbing “Kimsicle” was announced this morning as a new “buttock-enhancing” marshmallow ice cream lolly inspired by “Kim Kard-ass-ian” from The Licktators.
Left-Handed Bike Horn
The When I Was A Kid toy store in Cambridge announced the development of a left-handed bike horn. Available for a mere £5 “at last all cyclists are equal when it comes to their safety”.
For when a taxi is just too much why not get a piggy back around town?
How many fooled you?