MediaMiser’s April Fool’s: Office Prank Edition

by | Apr 1, 2016 | Events, Popculture

April Fool’s, or All Fool’s Day as some call it, is one of my favourite days to pull all kinds of pranks on my co-workers. No one really knows when or where April Fool’s started, but it appears to be one of those annual events that has been embraced internationally, evidenced by little kids pranking each other, parents pranking kids, co-workers pranking each other, and even large businesses pranking their customers!

Some news stories indicate that April Fool’s may have originated out of an error in the French calendar. In 1585 the country switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, which caused New Year’s Day to move from April 1 back to January 1. Those who continued to celebrate the arrival of the new year on April 1 were called fools.

For years I was “famous” for putting tape over my co-worker’s optical mouse – it kind of got old after five years – so this year I decided to use MediaMiser’s patented software to monitor online news for some new pranks. One of the great perks when you’re monitoring is finding little news gems about the monitoring topic; April Fool’s didn’t let down. Here’s a round-up of some great pranks, stories, and fall-out from previous April Fool’s days.

Round up of today’s April Fool’s stories

april fools chartGoogle was the most mentioned company we monitored for April Fool’s pranks, appearing in 45 per cent of the articles monitored; sadly the mentions were not because of the success of its 2016 prank. After launching a successful revamped Maps app with the original Pac Man game last year, this year the company’s prank flopped with un unsuccessful Minion mic drop added to Gmail users’ emails. The company admitted as much, and apologized for the fact that the prank caused more headaches than laughs.

Runner up to Google at 16 per cent was the fake engagement between former 90210 alum, Jessica Lowndes and Jon Lovitz. Though this prank didn’t happen on April Fool’s itself, it was the most mentioned early April Fool’s joke that we found this year. Lowndes apparently pulled the stunt with Lovitz to promote her own music video.

Netflix joined in the fun by celebrating former Full House star John Stamos, who, according to the streaming service, is a ‘Human, Being’. Netflix and Stamos teamed up for a new Netflix project where John Stamos would play not just the person, but the brand. To market the release, Netflix changed all of its categories to Stamos-centric themes.

T-Mobile launched a prank product that frees customers to watch whatever they want and do whatever they want – Binge On Up was created to free customers from the old rules of the wireless industry and catered to users’ needs and desires to binge-watch TV. The prank earned the company 10 per cent of the coverage monitored.

Bringing up the last of the most mentioned companies this year was Virgin America, with only four percent share of voice. According to news stories, the company’s culture of branding has grown absurd in recent years – but even Virgin America can laugh at itself! This year for April Fool’s, the company’s founder, Richard Branson, and his design team designed and detailed a new logo which, when finished, looked like a cross-your-heart bra – described as a “supportive approach to guest care”.

Common office pranks monitored

Aside from the great corporate pranks I monitored, I was on the hunt for some good office pranks. Especially since I have to abandon my trusty tape-on-the-mouse prank after I outed myself in the opening of this post (that, and it’s been five years)! Luckily, monitoring for April Fool’s has provided me with some great ideas. Perhaps you can benefit from my finds and prank your own co-workers! Below is just a roundup of some of the SFW pranks that I found.

Have a look below to see how we pranked our Marketing Manager, who happened to be away from the office on April Fool’s.




Stephanie Luedee
Stephanie has been with Agility PR Solutions for nine years, first as a media analyst on the Customer Success team, and more recently as a data analyst with the Media Insights Group. She currently oversees monthly and quarterly analysis reports for retail and entertainment clients. Stephanie also recently earned her AMEC certification.


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