You have heard a lot about April Fool, now know about April Fish too.

You have heard a lot about April Fool, now know about April Fish too.

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Early morning breakfast television shows will feature vague, though somewhat credible, announcements from organizations and brands about new products, services or discoveries. Social media platforms will also be filled with similar claims. Then traditionally, at noon, these organizations “clarify” the alleged new product, service or discovery, explaining that it was just a “simple April Fool’s joke”. You may remember the results of Burger King’s “Chocolate Whopper”, McDonald’s “Sweet ‘n Sour Sundae”, or Oporto’s famous Bondi Burger. In 2022, Subway’s April Fool “Subdog” also became a reality, when a prank meant to fool people sparked real demand. So why do brands love ‘April Fool’ blind imitation?

a long history

Although the origin of ‘April Fool’s’ Day remains a mystery, there are some theories. Some believe that ‘April Fools’ Day’ may have originated in ancient Roman times as a celebration celebrating the end of winter and the arrival of spring in Europe. This is exactly like the Roman festival Hilaria which is celebrated at the end of March in which there is an atmosphere of fun and frolic and people also change their disguises. An alternative theory suggests that ‘April Fool’s Day’ began in France in the 16th century when, before the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, the new year began on April 1. In France, the first reference to “poisson d’evil” (“April fish” – the name of a person fooled on April Fools’ Day) appeared in 1508 in a poem by Eloy d’Amerval.

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April Fool’s advertisement published in Britain on April 1, 1698

In the year 1686, the English archaeologist John Aubrey first mentioned “Fool’s Holy Day” as being celebrated on 1 April. Probably the earliest April Fool’s advertisement was published in Britain on April 1, 1698, inviting innocent people to bring a friend to the ‘Tower of London’ to “see the washing of lions.” Organizations really started taking advantage of this day in the 1950s. In the year 1955, a magazine named ‘Popular Electronics’ published an article about “Contra-Polar Energy”. The fake article claimed that the government had lifted restrictions on secret World War II electronics development. This eventually led the magazine to report on new “negative energy” innovations that would show electrical devices producing the opposite effect from their usual form. For example, a table lamp that produces “darkness” rather than “light”, or an ‘electric hotplate’ that freezes water rather than boiling it.

It is a tradition to fool people on April 1st.

In this way, fooling people on April 1 became a tradition and organizations and brands all over the world started taking advantage of it. Why humor became important for brand organizations Humor, jokes and pranks are more connected to humans rather than organizations or brands. We all have some family member or friend whom we consider to be very funny or a bit of a prankster. People generally want a partner who has a “good sense of humor.” The art of humor can build relationships between coworkers in the workplace. These are the results organizations and brands want to achieve.

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