Specialising in fake news

Let’s look at some April Fool’s PR stunts that had varied success.What began as a day of childish pranks and tomfoolery, April Fool’s Day has firmly transitioned into the PR and marketing arena. With the day in question just around the corner, let’s look at some April Fool’s PR stunts that had varied success. 

Jade Sammons, senior account executive at Stone Junction

Amazon’s Petlexa
In 2017, Amazon introduced a version of its Echo artificial intelligence (AI) system for pets. ‘Launched’ in a YouTube video, the Petlexa was positioned as a voice assistant for pets when owners aren’t around. The Petlexa claimed to help gerbils track their wheel steps, play the family feline’s favourite ‘Caturday’ playlist and activate an automatic ball thrower for Fido the dog.

While many April Fool’s hoaxes verge on the absurd, the Petlexa presents the fake features in a way that could be feasible and the video promotes them in a way that pet owners would be receptive to.
Our verdict: Paw-fection

Master & Dynamic’s concrete headphones
Best known for its premium metal and leather headphones, for April Fool’s 2017, the company teased a pair of wireless on-ear model headphones made entirely out of concrete. With a hefty price tag — and weight — the headphones were positioned as Master & Dynamic’s “commitment to creativity”.

The announcement claimed that Master & Dynamic has “consistently chosen the road less travelled. As of today, that road is paved with concrete.” Needless to say, it didn’t cause that much of a media stir.
Our verdict: Must try harder

BBC Three’s David Attenborough Grime documentary
This one caught a few people out, including Grime music superstar Stormzy. BBC Three announced, bright and early on April 1, that 90-year-old natural history broadcaster David Attenborough had been signed up to front a new documentary all about the music genre.

After the announcement, Stormzy, with his 1.2million Twitter followers, tweeted up a literal storm when he messaged the channel with his long and critical review of the move — only to realise that it was all a simple prank. While BBC Three didn’t comment, it certainly got the Twittersphere talking.
Our verdict: Super storm in a tweet-cup

Honourable mentions
Deliveroo’s telepathic food ordering service, Krispy Kreme’s ‘re-branding’ to Krispy Cream for British customers (which many news outlets actually fell for) and a new, blander version of Marmite called Meh-Mite.

While we traditionally specialise in reporting on real news (although we did write an article about fictional metal vibranium for one of our clients recently), we’ve got an eye for the stories that will get media coverage across the globe. To get your story, whether real or fictional, the coverage it deserves give us a shout on sayhello@stonejunction.co.uk.

Jade Sammons

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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