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  • Elva Lei


April 24, 2024

By: Elva Lei

As April is coming to an end, let’s talk about some of the best April Fools’ marketing campaigns of 2024. April Fools’ Day is the equivalent of field day for the corporate world where companies and brands can utilize pranks in the form of marketing. It’s more than just for laughs and giggles. It’s a way for companies to bolster their brand image by showcasing their creativity and sense of humor to engage with a wider audience. 


Courtesy of Sour Patch Kids on Instagram

On March 27, 5 days before April Fools’ Day, the brand announced that they were rebranding to “Sour Patch Adults.” From a press release claiming “it’s time to grow up” to completely changing to an adult mascot, it made many wonder if it was real. The candy we grew up on and still love today is known to be fun, colorful, and sour. However, the campaign stripped away all of these characteristics and presented itself as a black-and-white frowning Sour Patch Adult wearing a suit and tie. On April Fools’ Day, they made an Instagram post that featured the original Sour Patch Kids colorfully graffitiing over the monochrome Sour Patch Adults packaging with “kids rule” and a caption stating “JUST KID-DING.” This campaign was extremely clever and resonated with the nostalgia of longing to grow up as kids, only to find that adult life is not as cool as we thought. 


Courtesy of Duolingo on YouTube

Duolingo, an app that helps people learn new languages, is known for their hilarious marketing campaigns. April Fools’ Day was just not something that they could miss out on; if anything, it was a “go big or go home” moment. On April 1st, it premiered a video of Duo, the green mascot owl, wearing a blue dress and performing “the world’s first multilingual musical” called Duolingo On Ice. The ad consisted of a narrator presenting the various songs that will be featured such as “Spanish or Vanish” and “French or the Trench.” To really top it off, the company partnered with SeatGeek to create a website featuring tour dates and details about the show. Although I wish this was real, I guess I’ll just enjoy the songs on their four-song EP on Spotify. Yes, you read that right. They released an EP. 

  • OREO

Oreo, the world’s top-selling cookie, announced a divorce. On Instagram, they archived all their posts and left one post with a statement:

Courtesy of Oreo on Instagram

They even made separate Instagram accounts for the wafer (@just_the_wafer) and the cream (@just_the_creme), showcasing that you have to buy the two products separately. This fueled the ongoing debate: which is better, the wafer or the cream? Many started stating their own opinions on how they actually wanted two different products, while others expressed that they were a “child of divorce.” As a wafer stan myself, I would love it if they had just the wafer. However, what is an Oreo if it isn’t for both the wafer and the cream? A day later, on April 2nd, they released another Instagram post stating “We’ve always believed we are soulmates, we are much stronger together than we are apart!” Which side are you on?


Courtesy of Sol de Janeiro on Instagram

Sol de Janeiro is a skin and body care brand known for its almond and vanilla scented fragrances and body creams. Their April Fools’ campaign presented a new fragrance and cream called “Aranha Spider Salve.” The products claim to be the only body cream and mist in their collection that attracts spiders. Why would anyone want something that attracts spiders? Well, the campaign was a way to counter a recent scandal revolving around their Delícia Drench Body Butter. Many people on TikTok and Sephora have shared that after purchasing the product, they found that the scent of the body butter attracted spiders. Some even went on to say that the body butter contained farnesyl acetate and hexadecyl acetate, chemicals present in spider pheromones. However, this information was untrue and the product did not contain any of these chemicals as users on TikTok took a look at the ingredient list. Sol de Janeiro’s decision to lean into the scandal and join in on the conversation was a great way to dispel rumors. 


Courtesy of Quizlet on Instagram

As students, Quizlet is a common study tool we use to memorize information for our tests. If you were using Quizlet on April 1st, the logo changed from “Quizlet” to “Rizzlet” which confused many users. For April Fools’ Day, they decided to create a new feature called “Rizzlet,” which was an AI wingman that matched students with study buddies and singles at their university. They even posted a TikTok video highlighting a married couple who met on Quizlet through this feature. Additionally, they released a post on Instagram with campus merch that displayed “Rizzlet” on the front. Although this was just a prank, maybe you could use Quizlet to find your next study buddy to lovers trope by sharing your flashcard set.  

April Fools’ Day is the perfect holiday for brands to not only increase brand awareness but for brands to humanize themselves. These marketing campaigns shift the idea of companies being rigid and product-driven to instead having a playful personality. This is essential because when brands can show that they can laugh at themselves and join in on the fun, it creates a sense of inclusivity and affinity among consumers. It’s important to note that creating an April Fools’ marketing campaign requires the brand to know its consumer base and public perception well enough so that the joke lands with its consumers. Whether it be joining in on the fun about recent scandals, debates around a product, current brand image, or consumer behavior, many factors play into crafting a marketing strategy. If done right, April Fools’ Day showcases the power of humor in marketing. 


Elva Lei is a junior studying economics and business studies. She is passionate about social media trends, makeup, and finding good eats around NYC.

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