Surekha Ragavan
Apr 1, 2021

Joke’s on you: The best April Fool’s gags from brands

An app for pets to communicate their favourite foods and a chocolate-beef burger. What have we come to?

iPetite, an app for your pets to communicate their favourite foods
iPetite, an app for your pets to communicate their favourite foods

Each year, brands scramble to upstage each other on the comedy stage by attempting to prank consumers on April 1. Typically, this might include announcing an uncharacteristic variation of a product, but this year, some brands have gone above and beyond to create actual versions of the products.

Google, for the second year in a row, decided to ‘cancel’ April Fool’s because the world is grappling with serious challenges. We’d argue that caring about suffering and having a harmless laugh are not mutually exclusive, so here are five of our favourite gags this year.

A smart seat that fights turbulence and flatulence

You know that feeling when the plane jolts in the air and you shut your eyes and clutch the seat rests? Well, Indian online travel agency Ixigo wants to make sure you never have that feeling again once we start travelling. So it launched an anti-turbulence cushion—a smart seat, if you will—equipped with gyro sensors, hydraulic pistons and industry-grade shock absorption. A product that applies learnings from car suspension systems, earthquake resistance technology and NASA’s robotic suspension tech for its Mars rovers. We’re sold.

A beef burger with…chocolate fudge sauce  

Burger King Singapore has taken the sweet-salty combo to an unmistakably offensive level. The fast-food giant is pairing its Whopper beef burger with chocolate fudge sauce alongside the usual trimmings like tomatoes, onions and sesame burger buns. Yes, it’s available in-store on April Fool’s, but the brand is keeping it on the menu till April 15 in a bid to show consumers they’re ‘serious’. Perhaps more incriminating is the addition of a six-piece nugget set paired with chocolate sauce. We’re all for culinary experiments but is this a step too far?

Ever wondered what your pup is trying to tell you? There’s an app for that

A new voice feature by Malaysian online shopping aggregator iPrice Group called iPetite is set to change the US$1.4 billion pet care industry. Simply activate the voice feature, click on the mic icon, let your pet speak into it, and the app will translate your pet’s speech into your chosen language. Based on your pet’s grandiose requests, the app will then draw up a list of pet care products for you to purchase. We’re one step closer to pets fulfilling their sole purpose on this planet—to be endlessly spoilt.

A botched attempt at a prank

Perhaps the most hilarious gag on this list is Volkswagen’s accidental release of its April Fool’s joke two days before its intended date. The automotive brand announced the new name of its US operations, Voltswagen of America, with a now-unpublished press release on its website on Monday (March 29) morning. It tried very hard to convince folks that it wasn’t a April Fool’s joke, but alas, even jokes have to retire. The brand yesterday apologised for “any confusion” and admitted that the premature release was indeed related to April Fool’s. What a journey.

Finally, a way for pets to trade treats for toys

You know that common conundrum where pets can’t trade treats for toys without the hassle of bank fees? Well, virtual wallet YouTrip has introduced a pet mobile wallet that allows users to pay for toys in exchange for treats without any conversion fees. What a relief for the creatures of petland who have long been oppressed by the weight of transactional fees! Pawrents can also make use of the function to monitor spending on pets.

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