Google, Virgin Launch April Fools` Jokes
The New Reality for Customer Engagement
Fake company ads join the legion of April 1 pranks, though some have backfired.
If you rushed to the Internet to book one of airline Virgin Blue's "no chair fares" for half price as advertised in Australian newspapers on Tuesday there was one message on their Web site -- April Fools!
Various companies and media organizations got into the swing of April 1 when pranks are allowed until noon with a range of hoaxes designed more to amuse than trick people.
Britain's Independent newspaper reported that foul-mouthed TV chef Gordon Ramsay was banning swearing in all his restaurants after Sydney authorities refused an application for him to set up an eatery on the grounds of "decency."
And competitor the Daily Telegraph featured a story based on BBC footage of a colony of penguins that flies thousands of miles to the rainforests of South America to bask in the sun (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/page/item/epeng001.shtml?src=ip_potpw).
Google Australia announced that it was to launch a new feature "enabling you to search for content on the Internet before it is created" so you could get tomorrow's news today including share prices and sports results.
"This is awesome. I can now check the questions ahead of time and impress my girlfriend by knowing all the answers to 'Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?'," said Wazza from Queensland on Google's site (http://www.google.com.au/intl/en/gday/index.html).
Virgin Blue, Australia's second-largest airline, put an advertisement in newspapers across Australia that read: "Stand Up and Be Discounted," offering half price fares if passengers would stand for a flight with a complimentary calf massage for flights of over two hours.
"We've had over 1,000 click-throughs onto the Web site we set up (http://www.virginblue.com.au/nochairfare) and people had a very good humor about it. We like to have a bit of fun," said Virgin Blue spokeswoman Leonie Vandeven.
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