DAVID reviews

2 April 2017

April Fools 2017.

by Jason Stone


Social media provides a daily demonstration that some brands will take any opportunity to show their fun side. Their efforts sometimes backfire because of misjudged banter or po-faced responses from the public, but a lot of the time punters seem quite impressed by the very human side exhibited by those charged with replying on behalf of a corporation.

So what happens on the day specially designed to allow institutions to let their hair down? April Fool's Day, you mean? Once upon a time it was strictly the domain of newspapers and broadcasters to mess with people on April 1st but brands took up the challenge a few years ago and increasingly use it as a platform for communication designed to amuse.

The difficulty they have - of course - is constructing japes which 'fool' people without making fools of them.

1. Snickers.

Snickers - according to their April Fool's Day joke - are the brand that knows 'nuts' better than anyone and are ideally positioned to launch a new range of men's underwear. Acclaimed photographer Rankin directed the commercial for AMV BBDO and he does such a convincing job that Mars may well be obliged to start making these for real to meet the demand.

2. Lexus

Lexus's contribution to the cavalcade of April's Fools Day communication is a marvellous fantasy which promises to shift inconsiderate drivers out of your way when they're hogging the overtaking lane. In the planning stage, this probably involved firing a high-velocity missile in their direction but the more benign approach suggested here is almost as satisfying. Almost.

3. McDonald's

McDonald's have occasionally been criticised over the years for using actors with small hands to hold their Big Macs in order to make them look bigger than they are (and if you're a soon-to-be ex-President, it's something to keep in mind) but this April Fool's gag certainly isn't intended to bring historic controversies to mind.

4. Dacia

Ralph Ineson's testosterone-infused voice is used to good effect as he explains how the latest Dacia model has the perfect answer for the dearth of sunshine in the UK. You can use the car as a sunbed when you don't need it as a car thanks to the fluorescent tubes emitting ultra-violet rays which embedded in the vehicle's ceiling.

5. Virgin Atlantic

6. BMW

Oddly, Richard Branson gives a far more plausible performance than the actor who plays his Chief Engineer in this Fool's Day commercial purporting to introduce a new place which flaps its wings in a bird-like fashion. The bearded entrepreneur has always dreamed of being able to take to the skies like Icarus but - alas - these wings may as well be waxen.

FCB Inferno created this dog-friendly spoof for the German car manufacturer which introduces dDrive - a special new model enabling man's best friend to enjoy the thrill of the open road even when he's stuck in the living room. It's another idea that would probably work if it was available commercially.

David Reviews is hand-crafted by Lovely Lenzie Ltd, 7 Seven Sisters, Lenzie, Glasgow, G66 3AW. Editor: Jason Stone. Phone: 0141 776 7766. E-mail: jason@davidreviews.com.