April Fool’s day is over for another year, and we’re genuinely curious: what’s the point of the retail “jokes”? Think Geek has been listing fake items on their site for years, some of which have been turned into relatively successful stuff people bought for realsies. But what about other stores and sites? Why create fake items and pull the wool over shoppers’ eyes?
This is a real question. We want to know if there are any measurable side-effects of April Fool’s Day jokes in retail settings. Do the jokes draw more people to the site? Do those people go on to buy something from the non-joke section? I would be interested to see site traffic on April Fools Day versus any other regular weekday. And while Think Geek is now nearly famous (infamous?) for its pranks-turned-taunton sleeping bags, are there any other examples of successful items for fools?
Then there are the items that don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming real. This year, Think Geek has a whole bunch of pranks listed, and some can’t even become a thing (based on the laws of both our government, and of…science.) Do those items generate enough traffic to be worth the amount of people who get upset about things they can’t really buy? And do people really believe that Nerf Nukes are for sale? WHAT IS THE SPLASH BACK OF THESE PRANKS?
Some of the jokes that have been pulled today are straight up mean. For instance, an article was circulating this morning about Marvel’s properties finally being consolidated under one license. Obviously this is news we have been waiting to hear for years–and perhaps even more so since Disney bought Marvel–but it’s not true. So here we are disappointed and low on the emotional roller coaster that is every April first. Ultimately, what’s the point? Is it genuinely just for clicks? Is it just because this is what people DO on April Fool’s Day?
On tumblr, starting late last night, users were already setting up rules for what would and wouldn’t fly today. It’s clear internet junkies are pretty fed up with the average fake news story, screamer, and made-up product. So what’s the hold out? Why do people care so much when the solution to all these fake articles, sites and products is simple: turn off the computer/stay off social media sites for just one day.
What makes for a good internet April Fool’s Day joke? What are your favorites and least favorites? Did you fall for any of them? And if you pulled a joke yesterday…why?