Pranking Consumers: The Best April Fool’s Jokes of 2019

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In 1983, a BMW ad appeared in magazines for a “rain-deflecting open top car.” The ad for this physics-defying vehicle is one of the earliest examples of a corporate April Fool’s Day prank. Since then, and especially since the advent of social media, pranking customers on April 1 has become a tradition. Here are three of the cleverer pranks we observed this year:

Spotify’s “Discocover Weekly”

Every Monday, Spotify releases a custom playlist tailored to the taste of each user called “Discover Weekly.” For a playlist that is notoriously hit or miss, this week’s edition was, without a doubt, groovy.

Rather than delivering the usual collection of eclectic, offbeat tracks, Spotify surprised listeners with upbeat, disco-style covers of hits throughout the ages, from Beethoven to Luther Vandross to Taylor Swift, rebranding the playlist “Discocover Weekly.”

Reactions to the prank were mixed.

“Wow @Spotify got me good with the April Fools disco-cover discover weekly although I was digging the ABBA covers,” tweeted @alli_woodard.

@tompowercbc had a more critical take, however, tweeting, “That Spotify April Fool’s joke doesn’t really work when all the songs on the playlist are bangers.”

It takes Two to Tandem

Via, an Uber and Lyft competitor, emailed its users announcing a new ride-pooling service – with tandem bicycles. The two-seater, called “ViaTandem,” would be piloted by two strangers that contribute equally. Via explains: “The rider in the front seat is responsible for steering and braking, [while the back-seat rider] should offer verbal encouragement to their partner.”

Height Embellishers’ Bane

Tinder threatened its users with the terrifying prospect of enforced honesty. The dating app company revealed its plans to introduce a Height Verification Badge (HVB).

“It’s come to our attention that most of you 5’10ers out there are actually 5’6. The charade must stop,” wrote the company in a blog post.

“Oh, and by the way?,” it continued. “Only 14.5% of the U.S. male population is actually 6’ and beyond. So, we’re expecting to see a huge decline in the 80% of males on Tinder who are claiming that they are well over 6 feet.”

Tinder went extra devious with its hoax this year, tweeting its plans for the badge two days before April Fool’s Day, which had many users believing the feature was legit.

Kudos to Tinder on being ahead of the game, but is a prank played on March 29 really an April Fools joke?

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