Posts Tagged 'April Fool’s Day'

01 April 2015

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.

The Guardian
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!

clarkson guardian


Google
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!

com google geek

 

com google bbc

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!

google maps pac man2

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.

google maps pac man1


Virgin

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.

Marmite Clear
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”.

Marmite Clear


SketchUp

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.

Monument

 

The Kimsicle
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.

Kimsicle


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”.

left handed horn

 

Hailo Piggyback
For when a taxi is just too much why not get a piggy back around town?

Hailo
How many fooled you?

 

01 April 2013

As is becoming tradition on Inspirational Geek it’s that time of year again where we take a look back at some of the more creative April Fools’ Day pranks that may (or may not) have had you fooled.

More and more companies are having a go at executing some seemingly legitimate ideas, most are pointless or silly, but more often than not you will need a couple of moments to think if it can really be real (before noticing the date!).

From Nasa’s plan to “bag an asteroid“, The Whitehouse’s special message from the president, some frankly awful Photoshop-ing to turn The Shard into The Shlide, and Netflix’s implausibly specific categories, here are some of my favourites from yesterday.

Google Treasure Maps
Building on the success of last year’s 8-bit maps we now have Treasure Mode within Google Maps.  Try and decipher the clues and uncover the secrets of Captain Kidd’s long lost treasure map – if you can!

Sony Animalia
A range of technology specifically designed for pets.  Obviously.  Products such as the “K9 4K TV” and “M3-OW KittyCans”, so cats and dogs can relax and enjoy technology away from their owners!

This sort of idea probably isn’t too far into the future, but I very much doubt that the products will come from Sony when (if) it does emerge!

Twttr
Announced on their blog, Twitter claimed to be launching Twttr.  The 140-character limit is set to become even more precious as a new tiered service is set to start charging for vowels (y is still free!) at $5/month.  By eliminating vowels, they aim to “encourage a more efficient and “dense” form of communication”.

Twttr

YouTube Winner
After last year’s opportunity to buy YouTube on DVD the announcement came that YouTube.com will “no longer be accepting entries”.  Entries? I hear you ask.  Yes, turns out the past 8 years worth of uploads have actually been part of a best video competition and the time has now come “to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner.”  The proud winner will be announced when YouTube comes back online – in 2023!

Virgin Glass Bottom Plane
Richard Branson announced a world first from Virgin – the glass bottom plane!  An “aviation breakthrough which has been years in the making” as one of Virgin’s top-secret projects is now available to allow passengers a “special opportunity to look down on the beautiful scenery of Great Britain as they fly”.

Virgin1

Virgin2

Virgin3
Bizarrely this scheme has attracted a number of negative comments and criticism for the feasibility of such an idea!  For me, however, that is part of the fun and notion behind an April Fools’ prank.  I guess it just proves you’ll always get some negativity whatever fun you try and have!

Vimeow
Video-centric social networking site Vimeo have never been one for the fleeting trends of the internet, instead defiantly remaining as the well-designed, high-quality video upload and sharing website of choice.  However, it seems that the rising popularity of cats on the internet has forced their hand in now creating Vimeow.

Vimeow

With the forum rebranded as the Litterbox, and video appreciations measured in Tummyrubs and Purrks it is hard to see why they waited this long to launch.

Skinny Skinny Jeans
With regular skinny jeans no longer trendy enough, American Eagle have come up with their super skinny “Skinny Skinny” spray on jeans.  Available in two shades for even the most fashion-conscious cool kids.

AE Super Skinny

And my absolute favourite:

Google Nose
Google Nose launched in Beta as the new scentsation in search.

Smelling is believing

Go beyond the more traditional search senses of typing, talking, and touching, and get sniffing the Aromabase of over 15million scentibytes.


Here’s to even more creative ideas next year!

01 April 2012

Another year, another April Fools’ Day.  Following on from last year‘s superb efforts, today saw some wildly creative “fools” that caught a lot of people out on this Sunday morning.

From the more outrageous, with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Volcanic and Jake Humphrey suggesting David Coulthard was returning to racing in Formula 1, to the slightly suspicious Shaun Ryder being asked to advise David Cameron on class, here is a brief overview of my favourites.

Google Maps
A new 8-bit version of Google Maps for the “long neglected” Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Fantastic stuff, right down to the detail of the Street View character, and the “Quest” option for planning your journeys.

Love the sound effects and classic “cleaning” technique for those of familiar with cartridge-based games consoles to “blow on the cartridge to fix bugs”.

Gmail Tap
The official Google Blog introduced us to the idea of Gmail Tap, a two-key typing interface called to replace the typical 26-key QWERTY keyboard.

New features promise the future of writing emails on the go – tap without looking at your screen, and even multitask to double your productivity by typing two emails at once!

You can even, ahem, download the app here.

YouTube
This morning’s blog post read:

Loved a video so much that liking it, favoriting it, sharing it and even subscribing to the channel wasn’t enough? Just had to hold it in your grasp and never ever let it go?

A tantalising prospect I’m sure you’ll agree, and so the The YouTube Collection is born.  Available for you in a new “holdable” version: DVD.

Love the feedback and thumbs up options with this!

IKEA
IKEA even chipped in their wonderful effort with a product recall notice on their “erroneous” left-handed allen keys.

Bring on next year!

01 April 2011

01 April, April Fools’ Day.  The one day of the year, up until 12noon anyhow, where companies and broadcasters spin stories out of control in an attempt to catch you out.

You may have seen some or all of these yourself, you may have caught them in a fleeting glance while scanning headlines, you may have laughed at their absurdities or even paused to consider how authentic the story was, even just for a second (and then hoping that no one saw you considering it!).  I’ll admit a couple of them did make me pause for just a moment so, in no particular order, here are my favourites from today.

Cardboard Bicycle
This was the first ‘fool’ I came across today.  I like it for it’s playful twist on a very current and trending topic at the moment.  Cycling is being ever more encouraged, as is recycling and the use of sustainable materials.  Merge all those elements together and you get Firebox‘s Re-Cycle Cardboard Bike.

Supposedly made from two hundred recycled newspapers, it claims to use the same technology that protects eggs in transit and features such desirable attributes as “unpoppable corrugated wheels”, “patented rip/tear technology” to assist with the quick release wheels and the added benefit of it being easily secured to a wall with tape – “without the risk of theft”.  All the absurd descriptions aside, I do kind of want one (yes, even the ‘paper chain’)!

Royal BMW
This initially caught my eye as it wasn’t simply an online ‘rumour’ or link passed around, it had a very genuine looking advert in this morning’s Metro.

BMW offer you the chance to “marque the occasion” by purchasing a BMW M3 Royal Edition with stock limited to the month of April.  Available  in the apt colours of Regal Red, Bridal White and Imperial Blue, and upholstered most appropriately in Windsor White Dakota Leather.  Oh, and of course, a dashing “WILL” badge to adorn your bodywork.

Gmail Motion
This morning Google offered us a new way to communicate, Gmail Motion.  A feasible explanation informs us that “the mouse and keyboard were invented before the Internet even existed. Since then, countless technological advancements have allowed for much more efficient human computer interaction. Why then do we continue to use outdated technology?”

Why click ‘reply all’ when you could squeeze in some exercise and point your  thumbs back over your shoulders?  Or why waste time holding down the delete key when a simple shake of the head will do!

Be sure to check out the complete list of amusing Gmail Actions.

Bronze Boris Bike Statue
Spotted over on the Dezeen Blog was the audacious unveiling of a 12m bronze statue of Boris Johnson sitting astride one of his infamous Boris Bikes.

To coincide with the anniversary of his 3rd year as London Mayor in May Boris Johnson announced that the tax payer funded statue would be his “gift to the people of London to commemorate a marvellous 3 years”, and people shouldn’t be shocked it includes one of London’s hire bikes as they are “widely seen as one of the crowning achievements of his reign thus far.”

Ronaldo Nationality Transfer
The respectable Independent pitched a very well written article on how Portugal had managed to effectively sell Cristiano Ronaldo to neighbouring country Spain in a bid to ease the country’s national debt.

Already the world’s most expensive footballer at €80m (Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009), it was claimed that “Cristiano Ronaldo has agreed to “act like a patriot” and be sold to neighbouring Spain for €160m.”  Faux outrage supported the article with claims of nothing now stopping Qatar buying a World XI and even a token quote from David Cameron regarding a counter offer closer to the £200m mark since the “Premier League is where Ronaldo became a star it is only right and proper he should play for England.”

Bring on next year!

The Creativity Of Nike

Nike, the choice of hi-top trainer for Jordan, the net-bulging boot of Rooney, and the sponsor of the thigh-busting road cyclist Lance Armstrong.  All great names, and undoubtedly outstanding sporting performance. But so do many other great brands, the likes of Adidas with Lionel Messi and Lewis Hamilton for Reebok are just a couple that spring to mind.  When it comes to being creative though Nike have stepped up their game even more, and are truly in a class of their own.

As I’m sure we all do, I add daily reams of online material to my ‘favourites’. I do my best to keep it orderly and categorised, and recently I noticed that Nike almost deserved a sub-category of their own, their flair for design and advertising creativity seems to consistently be pushing boundaries that no one else at all is considering, let alone other sporting brands.

This turned up a few weeks ago (April 1st to be exact) and was Nike’s spoof video for April Fool’s Day. The concept is great, and the execution even better. Yes it helps to have a team of international superstars at your disposal, but they’ve earned that.  I even love the “grunt removal system”!

Most recently I came across this. Very different, but the final product is what we’ve come to expect, polished, fantastic, and even makes you smile a little bit. The rather unique style comes from Sticky Monster Lab, who Nike collaborated with for this.

This recent effort with Wieden+Kennedy to promote Nike Free Run is also a touch of musical genius.

Even their installs look great, this is merely a typical store,

but pixaramic installs like this really turn heads. The Wilson Brothers manually positioned 6,000 acrylic pixel cubes, each with a different coloured face in red, green, yellow, blue, black and white.

To finish, a look at what Nike are offering in the very near future. Due to be first aired during the Champions League Final later this week, this is a sneak preview at their ad for the World Cup showing how a footballer’s successful world can come crumbling down with just one move.

For a bit of nostalgia who remembers Nike’s previous World Cup ads from 1998 and 2002.  Brilliant.  They continue to produce amazing works, and I for one am looking forward to them all.


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