April 1st – Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me every year, shame on the media.

‘Fake news’ has been a buzz phrase for a number of years and is turning into quite a serious issue. For one day each year though, we let our hair down and take the news with a pinch of salt.

On April Fools Day it’s great to play tricks on your family and friends but it has also become known for outlandish news stories generated by the media and some businesses. Here’s my run down of a few favorites from last year.

The Northern Tusked Porpoise

Move over Loch Ness Monster, there’s a new mythical creature in town. Marine charity, ORCA went to the trouble of drafting in Michaela Strachan to add some authenticity to their claim that a new aquatic mammal had been discovered in the North Sea. Their video is very well put together and involves the conservationists explaining the impact of the ‘discovery’ on the wildlife in the North Sea. Good effort!

A new pedigree of airline service

We all know the Virgin group don’t take themselves too seriously so it’s no surprise that Virgin Australia got in on the April Fools Day festivities with this fake news story.
Have you ever been on a flight and pondered the merits of having dogs as part of the cabin crew? Well, watch this video to confirm if you are as barking mad as you think you are.

A royal stitch up

Given the constant scrutiny of the Royal Family, this ‘news’ from the Daily Mail probably didn’t fool anyone. However, credit goes to the idea behind it and the photo-shopping that went on to make it happen.

As Google reports that Meghan Markle was one of the most searched people of 2017, it was inevitable a prank like this was going to happen.

Georgio

Not Giorgio Armani but Georgio… Osbourni…? This glorious bit of April Fools news had many in hysterics at the idea that former Chancellor, George Osbourne had launched a fashion line.

The line was said to center around Osbourne’s penchant for high-vis jackets. A must-have for this season.

Time to own up. It was a joke.

It’s a long-held stereotype that the Germans don’t have a sense of humour. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth as demonstrated by this wonderful poke at Brexit. As this BBC article explains, The German Embassy tweeted that Germany would shortly hold a referendum on whether to leave or remain in the Central European Time Zone.
Though clearly ludicrous, you might have worked out this was a prank if you decode the surname of the fictitious spokesperson, Frau Sommerzeit which translates to summertime.

Meh-mite

You either love it or hate it. However, if you wished you did like it, Marmite gave a chance for people to be indifferent. This April Fools gag was a stroke of genius in terms of marketing potential and complemented the brand’s on-going tagline.

So, headlines and companies aside, if you’d like to play a few pranks on your friends and family, this Bored Panda article has some great ideas for a bit of harmless fun. They range from simple but effective, to pretty outrageous and more hassle than they’re worth.

Happy April Fools Day. Have fun!

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