7 best Indian campaigns for April Fool’s Day

With the annual celebration of pulling fast ones behind us, it’s time to take stock. Did you get fooled, or did you manage to trick someone into believing something implausible? While the origin of the day and why it is celebrated in this manner is lost to the vagaries of time, many Indian companies got into the spirit of the occasion in 2018. Amongst the many attempts at humor, wit, and tomfoolery, here are 7 of the best April Fool’s campaigns aimed at Indian audiences this year.

Cleartrip – Free visit to Norbera in 2018

Free vacations and trips are a regular prize for corporate campaigns throughout the year, and often feature beautiful and exotic destinations. This might be why Cleartrip’s ‘Visit Norbera in 2018’ campaign was so successful – it was plausible, exciting, and mysterious. Several users were drawn to a post by the leading online travel company, and ended up submitting 10 second long videos about one thing they couldn’t be without if they were stranded on an island. Some should have wished for internet access and the ability to use Google to fact-check, since Norbera is completely fictional. While the participants are bound to be disappointed to know that the beautiful, hitherto unknown island of Norbera doesn’t exist, Cleartrip is looking at sweetening the deal for the participants with interesting prizes for the top submissions!

Ola – Ola News Network

With the spectre of fake news hanging over society today, we might have come to a point where we trust our local cab driver more than the average journalist. Or at least that’s what the campaign was hoping for. Ola, the car rental and ride-sharing company, continued its traditions of unbelievable and funny April Fools’ campaigns with the Ola News Network. The company claimed to be in the process of deploying its large fleet of drivers as a hyperlocal news collection team, covering everything from the weather and traffic updates to vegetable prices. The campaign successfully misled many, and the many comments on social media praising the move as an innovative step for the company would certainly delight the mind that came up with this prank!

Uber Eats – Anti-ageing Ice Cream

People don’t tend to require any added incentive to consume ice cream; but what if instead of just tasting ridiculously delicious, it could also slow down ageing? The online food ordering and delivery platform launched by Uber sent emails and bought YouTube ads to show a scrumptious chocolate ice cream and claimed that it would tackle 8 signs of ageing. The announcement was met by disbelief and skepticism, and was quickly called out on social media; however, several people are likely to be left waiting for this miraculous dual-purpose ice cream with bated breath.

Google – Lame joke detector

As part of its effort to promote FilesGo, Google’s new file manager for Android, the global technology giant released a video to announce that the app had a new feature - lame joke detection. Using AI, Natural Language Processing, and VR (because why not?) the video claimed that the company had authoritatively explored the anatomy of a joke, even in Hindi and Manipuri. Based on this, the company claimed FilesGo could remove them from your phone with just a tap – a feature that I’m sure several on the receiving end of this gag would probably want to use on Google, if they could.

King’s XI Punjab – Sehwag makes a comeback?!

Famous across the country as an aggressive opening batsman, ‘Viru’ or Virender Sehwag is a household name in India. Having retired from all forms of the game in 2015, the prolific run-scorer has remained prominent with his constant quips and humorous observations on Twitter consistently making news. Fans and players alike must thus have been clean bowled when the King’s XI Punjab twitter handle declared that the ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ would be taking the field in the season opening game of the 11th IPL. With Yuvraj Singh tweeting his support, many were left hopeful that this was real; unfortunately, they were all victims of some clever April Fool-ing by the IPL team.

Droom – Droom FLY Hover Shoes

India’s first and only online marketplace for buying and selling new and used automobiles announced that it had made boots that, to disappoint Nancy Sinatra, weren’t made for walking. Droom FLY, an advanced paid of hover shoes, suggested that terrestrial traffic jams would be a thing of the past. With their speed of 80km/h and altitude of 1000 ft, the boots promised quite an uplifting experience. Unfortunately, as with most things too good to be true, it was; people will have to settle for automobiles, for now at least.


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