Brand Hoaxes

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  • by Jordyn Kerr

You may have noticed that some brands recently came out with a very surprising new product line, ad or announcement - only to then ‘take it back’ a day later (ourselves included). You also may have noticed that these announcements all came out, on, or around April 1st… yep, that’s right. APRIL FOOLS!

Maybe you weren’t fooled in the slightest, but nonetheless, the brand moves that occur in sync with this holiday are sure to give you a laugh. In honor of April Fools day, we’re taking a look at the best brand hoaxes that have puzzled audiences and sparked some pretty hilarious conversations over the past couple of years.

T’Mobile’s PhoneboothE

It’s the latest and greatest to hit the telecommunication industry - PhoneboothE. A soundproof phone booth for T-mobile customers with ridiculous features that are sure to make you laugh.

Airbnb’s Humanless Host

Meet the latest technological breakthrough: Humanless Hosting. The company’s spot featured a robotic host for both Airbnb homes and experiences.  The company said, “We at Airbnb believe in the future of convenience. Where products and services are smart and take care of all the little things, so you don't have to. That's why we created Humanless Host.”

FuneralBooker: Home Cremation

They say “Home is where the heart is” - and FuneralBooker is taking it seriously. They introduced a home cremation service, featuring add-ons such as colorful smoke plumes, disco inferno, and an ash-back guarantee. Their brand hoax, although a bit morbid, was elaborate and chalked full of realistic content on a web landing page, with everything from cost-effectiveness charts to customer reviews.  

McDonald's: Micro Mac

First, there was the Big Mac. And then the Mac Jr. And now, for a limited time, you can purchase the Micro Mac. This product gives a whole new meaning to “snack sized.”

Pop-Tarts: Just The Crust

Alright crust-lovers, this one’s for you. Pop-Tarts announced that you can now purchase “Just the Crust” Pop-Tarts. And that’s exactly what you’ll get - just the rim of a normal Pop-Tart.  

Bob Evans: Beauty

What was once farm to table, is now farm to toiletry. Bob Evans is taking on the beauty industry, with the introduction of products such as Signature Biscuits & Sausage Gravy Beauty Mask, Hotcake Hand Rejuvenation System, Candied Bacon Perfume and Wildfire Hair & Body Wash. This innovation seems almost too good to be true.

Chegg: Chugg

Online student brand, Chegg, broke ground on a caffeinated energy drink made specifically for college students. The drink, Chugg, comes in a variety of flavors such as Bankrupt, College Tears and Struggle Bus. The nutrition label makes the product sounds like a fairly healthy choice, touting facts like, “LOL There’s nothing with nutritional value in here.”

DuoLingo: Learn Emoji

DuoLingo is super helpful when it comes to learning foreign languages. In an attempt to appeal to the less digitally-inclined generations, the app brand introduced a language course in which participants can learn emoji. Unfortunately for many, the course isn’t a real one. But it sure would be useful.

Some other notable champs:

Were there any brand hoaxes that caught your attention this year? If so, join our conversation on LinkedIn.