We Pity the April Fools Who Fell for These Pranks

Big Brand Names Used in Silly Jokes

By Published on .

AdAges loves a good joke, but April Fool's 2010 seems to be the year that some major marketers and/or their fanboys are taking the pranks just a little too far. As in, don't you people have real work to do? Some of your balance sheets would suggest, er, yes.

In-N-Out Burger: In what Gothamist.com is calling one of the cruelest of all pranks, jokers posted fliers to abandoned storefronts around Manhattan and Brooklyn suggesting that the West Coast's most-beloved burger chain was coming to town. Alas, the best we can do for now is Five Guys, it seems.

Credit: Starbucks
Starbucks: The coffee mecca announced two ridiculous sizes today, the 128 oz. "Plenta" and the 2 oz. mini "Micra" and on its website displayed photos of customers eagerly awaiting to fill up the new cardboard cups.

Google: The search giant has made no secret about its love for the holiday, and this morning it unleashed a series of gags related to its various products. The Google homepage, as millions have seen by now, was changed to Topeka to return a favor to the mayor of the city in Kansas, who changed his city's name to Google. G-Mail took out all the vowels and browser Chrome unveiled a new feature with which you can "unmute" your browsing experience to surf the web with auditory feedback. Olfactory enhancements are next. Google's funniest attempt was the all-useful "Translate for Animals" app that allows your pet's woofs, meows, neighs and oinks to be translated into Mongolian and Pig-Latin.

IPad: There was no way that IPad or Jobs would be immune to the jokes, and probably the best of them was ThinkGeek's new IPad holder, the ICade -- an old-school-like arcade cabinet to house the new device, where Donkey Kong and Miss Pac Man can keep it company.

BMW: The U.K.'s Daily Mail ran an advert for BMW offering new badges in red, blue and yellow to correspond to the colors of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat political parties. The e-mail address for more info is a clever "[email protected]"

Coldplay Perfume: Angst by Coldplay was released today. "This is something we've wanted to do for a long time," the band's frontman, Chris Martin said on the band's official website. "People like to smell nice and we thought we could help them out." The scent comes in Brian Eno-designed bottles sourced from Fairtrade suppliers. When you click to order the bottle, it says supplies have sold out.

Qualcomm: The chipmaker has been calling "emergency press conferences" and posting warnings to its Facebook page today about a rash of vicious butterfly attacks.

Funny or Die: The humor website gave into destiny and changed its name to BieberorDie.com. Not only that, it let the Biebster take over all the videos on its home page.

And of course we here aren't above it either. Ad Age's very own Ken Wheaton blogged today about how Twitter helped him self half a million copies of his book. Silly readers who believed him. He hawked them on TrekPassions.com! (On a serious note, he said he's torn. On one hand, he wished more overly enthusiastic Twitter users had run with the joke thus proving his worst thoughts about them right. On the other, he's pleased to see social-media fans aren't completely gullible when it comes to ludicrous claims.)

As you spot more, drop them in the comments. Thanks folks.

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