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Marketing’s best April Fool’s campaigns of 2024

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Marketing’s best April Fool’s campaigns of 2024

Parliament Station Slides for Public Transport Victoria

1 April presents brands with a rare opportunity to be playfully deceptive in their annual April Fool’s Day campaigns. 

Some companies like to fool their audience with simple yet humorous photoshopped images or products which are simply shared via social media. Others like to use the event to reinvigorate their brand’s personality with ‘more serious’ style ads that ask their users to question ‘is this real?’

Here are some of Marketing Mag’s best April Fool’s ‘pranks’ for 2024.

Duolingo’s ‘Duolingo on Ice’

The language-learning app’s green bird mascot, Duo, quickly rose to stardom on social media with its Gen-Z humour, unhinged, chaotic energy and outrageous non-traditional marketing tactics.

The app was praised for its 2023 April Fool’s Day campaign ‘Love Language’, which took a hyper-realistic mock approach to reality TV shows like Love Island

This year, the brand stepped up both the production value and the budget presenting its Disney-style spoof: Duolingo on Ice. Showcased as the world’s first multilingual music, Duo the Owl and friends whisk your family away to a magical four-hour no-intermission skate dancing extravaganza filled with fun original songs like ‘Spanish or Vanish’.

Public Transport Victoria’s new transport installation

With Victoria’s Big Build taking shape across Melbourne city, Public Transport Victoria is always on the lookout for new innovative ways to enhance its passengers’ commutes.

“We’re looking at ways to expedite platform access with the biggest slide in the southern hemisphere,” the ad said. “Introducing the Parliament Station Slide. Simply collect your hessian sack at the myki turnstyle and enter either the slow, fast or express slide lane direct to your platform.”

This expert-level Photoshop job may have ultimately backfired on the metro as commuters and commenters are now demanding that these slides be installed for real.

Vegemite x Hismile 

What happens when you blend Australia’s most iconic spread with the expertise of a global leader in oral care? Hismile created Vegemite Toothpaste – the latest product to hit the market in Australia, or not.


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A post shared by Hismile (@hismile)

Jetstar’s ‘Rest Assured’

Everyone’s experienced the heated mid-air debate over armrest ownership. Does the middle seat get both? Rest Assured is Jetstar’s latest low-cost offering. 

First in, best rest! No more fighting over the armrest. With Rest Assured you can reserve your armrest in advance for only $2 and save the stress of the elbow battle.


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A post shared by Jetstar Australia (@jetstaraustralia)

Subway’s ‘Footlong Fairy Bread’

With fairy bread being recognised as one of Australia’s national dishes, it comes as no surprise that leading fast-food sandwich chain Subway took it upon themselves to give the people what they wanted.

Hundreds and thousands of you had no idea you needed this. Sprinkle some nostalgia into your day with our NEW Subway Footlong Fairy Bread.


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A post shared by Subway Australia (@subway_australia)

CSIRO’s ‘Magpie Translator’

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) knows that Australians are no strangers to magpie attacks and swoops. What were we always taught? Use your words, not violence.

The CSIRO were excited to release the world’s first magpie translator app. MagpieTranslate allows you to translate hundreds of common phrases between English and Magpie. Just type, write or speak into the app.

The only downside to brands expressing their humour is that we don’t get to enjoy any of these products.

Also, read more about Subway’s past April Fools Campaign.


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Billy Klein

Billy Klein is a content producer at Niche Media.

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