How Brands Are Celebrating April Fools’ Day 2019

From classic fakery to oddly real product rollouts

Never be unprepared with this collaboration between Victorinox Swiss Army and Victorinox Swiss Army
Headshot of David Griner

April Fools’ Day has become one of the marketing industry’s most active and annoyingly odd days of the year. And while the whole thing can be exhausting, there are always a few clever ideas worthy of at least a chuckle.

Check out our (definitely not 100 percent comprehensive) roundup of some of this year’s better branded stunts below. We’ll be updating this list throughout the day:

Google Netherlands Finally Lets You Talk to Your Tulips

We all know Google Translate is a powerful and useful tool, but clearly the service is only scratching the surface of its potential by translating human language. Now, thanks to Google Netherlands, the Google Tulip app will help you talk to your favorite flower and also learn more about its wants and needs:

As any sci-fi lover can attest, communication is a slippery slope. One minute your plant is haranguing you for more water. The next, it’s becoming self-aware and questioning its place in the universe. But mostly it still wants water.

McDonald’s Creates Shake Sauce for the Advanced Dipper

Dipping fries in a milkshake isn’t just acceptable. It’s downright required. If you have both on hand, it’s just common sense they need to be experienced together.

But now McDonald’s and agency We Are Unlimited have taken the dipping-in-shakes fascination to a new level by creating Shake Sauce. It’s an April Fools’ project, to be sure, but the brand is arguing it’s real and available everywhere in 12-ounce servings—in other words, as a shake.

SodaStream and Astronaut Scott Kelly Turn Burps Into Beverages

The SodaStream system is a nice way to make your own carbonated drinks rather than buying a bunch of disposable bottles, but haven’t you always wished you could create fizzy drinks on the go while also putting your belches to good use? No? Well too bad, because the brand has brainstormed a solution anyway.

SodaStream, a perennial April Fools’ participant, this year partnered with astronaut Scott Kelly to promote a portable device that promises to turn your excess gas (from your upper half, thankfully)  into sparkling water. Is it believable? Not at all. But the brand still put an impressive amount of time and energy into everything from the video production to the product design:

“We treated this as if we had the kind of technology to make this happen, this would be the way it was designed,” SodaStream CMO Matti Yahav tells Adweek. “We have a very serious environmental message, and we always try to find funny and entertaining ways to convey that message. We think April Fools’ is a perfect time to do that.”

Google Maps Lets You Play Snake in Iconic Cities

Now might be a good time to check if your Google Maps app has a new function. Namely you might want to look for “Play Snake.” The feature lets you play a version of the classic directional game Snake, but this time your serpent is a train or other form of mass transit moving its way through major cities and getting bonus points for reaching landmarks.

Always Be Prepared With These Swiss Army Glasses

Who needs form when you can have this much function? Victorinox Swiss Army and have partnered to launch this hilariously useful Survival Rx Glasses, “created on the values both companies share.”

The brands say research has shown 76 percent of eyeglass buyers want pairs that are trendy and feature practical or high-tech features.  And clearly you can’t get more feature-rich than a Swiss Army Knife combined with stylish eyewear.

Burger King Fiendishly Unveils a Real Meatless Whopper on April 1

On a day when everyone is primed to be dubious, Burger King is using skepticism to its advantage. The brand is intentionally debuting its meatless Impossible Whopper, created in partnership with the popular plant-based startup Impossible Foods, on April Fools’ Day as a way to get people talking.

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."