Retail Gazette Loves: Retail’s April Fools

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April Fool’s Day isn’t all about whoopee cushions and precariously-placed buckets of flour.

Every year, retailers and big brands take to the internet to prey on unsuspecting shoppers, too.

Some are strange, some are funny, many are downright unbelievable and 2017 is set to be no different.

Before we succumb to paranoia and begin questioning headlines, here is a look back at the best pranks retailers had to offer over the last few years.


Honda’s emoji registration plates

Honda announced the introduction of emoji registration plates, supposedly in response to demand from younger drivers.

A statement from Honda read: “In research conducted with UK consumers earlier this year, 96% of respondents aged under 30 indicated a preference for emoji plates over the traditional car license plate.

“97 per cent of those questioned admit they now use emoji faces as their main method of expressing an emotion or idea in texts and instant messages.”

B&Q paint the white cliffs of Dover

DIY retailer B&Q announced to the world that they had in fact been keeping the discolored white cliffs of Dover pristine white with an annual retouch.

A story in the Express covered the news, written by one Cliff White.

The manager of B&Q in Dover told him: “Our role in restoring and maintaining this landmark has been glossed over in the past but we’re no fools when it comes to painting.”

Tesco’s bouncy isles

The supermarket giant issued a press release announcing the introduction of bouncy isles.

The trampoline floors were designed to help people reach the top shelves while leaving room for trollies in the centre.

“Tesco’s patented Spring Stepper Shelf Solutions® will be fitted to the floor, running alongside the shelves, leaving space in the middle of the aisle for customers to walk down with trolleys,” a spokesperson for the retailer said.

“We initially planned to trial it in one store, but feedback has been so positive that we’re now scheduling a full roll-out of the bouncy aisles across the UK over the next 12 months.”

H&M’s Mark Zuckerberg range

H&M released a range of clothing taking aim at the Facebook founder’s unwavering dress style, including seven grey basic shirts and one pair of basic blue jeans.

“This new gender-neutral minimalistic range was inspired by Mark’s beliefs that making even the easiest decisions (like what to wear or what to eat for breakfast) consumes mental energy and gets in the way of doing more important things,” H&M said.

“That’s why we named this collection “One less thing to think about in a morning”.

Ted Baker’s adjustable heels

The fashion retailer supposedly released a range of high-heeled shoes that allowed the user to adjust the height for any occasion.

Like many good April Fools jokes, a wealth of women wrote to the retailer urging them to create such a shoe.

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