April Fools' Day pranks have always been a mainstay of our society, a time to prank and be mischievous. But past our younger years, it's been regarded a strictly a "childish" act, as professionals simply don't have the time for such shenanigans.
So when tech giants like Google started publishing April Fools pranks of their own, the general public only fell head over heels for it. And for them.
It's been very telling that this year Google was joined by so many other industry leaders and household names in releasing an April Fools promotion or fake-marketing campaign. But are these companies just in the spirit, or is there a strategy behind this?
Did you know that while waiting for your YouTube video to load, you can play the game Snake? Try going to Google Search and typing "do a barrel roll."
What about all those hidden treats in DVDs, where going to a specific menu and hitting the right keys or selecting certain choices in a particular order reveals some nifty hidden content?
These are all examples of easter eggs, hidden treats that delight when found...but finding them is half the fun. Easter eggs are usually just that, treats, but can they be used for greater marketing good?
It's going to happen eventually. If you have a comments system, or a submissions box, or anything that allows the anonymous public to send you input, it is bound to happen. The more publicly visible those submissions can get, the higher the likelihood of it happening.
I'm talking about trolls. Those rabble-rousers of the Web, the ne'er-do wells, the obnoxious jerks and put-downs. How is one supposed to deal with them?
A viewer and a brand have a relationship. Yes, there are conversion factors and impression counts. But that's boring and stuffy. What about that alluring first glance, that swoon of emotional destiny, and the pain of breaking up?
It's not just for lovers. Brands and viewers have always been said to have a relationship, and it's not just figurative.