Are you on your toes? You need to be. With April Fools’ Day almost here, plenty of companies are trying to pull fast ones.
The timing of April Fools’ Day is particularly weird this year since it falls on Easter Sunday. Companies looking to make a splash before everybody is distracted by Easter egg hunts and chocolate are rolling out their hijinks on the early side.
We’re combing the internet for the best, weirdest and wildest pranks and jokes. Stay tuned to this post as more hoaxes appear.
T-Mobile took its April Fools’ inspiration from its classic Sidekick phone that flipped open horizontally for access to a tiny keyboard. The company bills its new Sidekicks as the world’s first smartshoephone.
The laces are earphones, there’s a screen on the bottom of one shoe and speakers on the other. T-Mobile CEO John Legere voices the phone’s digital assistant. Naturally, the kicks come in a screaming shade of magenta. You can even order a pair, minus all the smartphone features.
Burger King had to live up toprank. So it took a cue from Easter treats and introduced the Chocolate Whopper, a sweet abomination featuring a cake bun, flame-grilled chocolate patty, white chocolate rings, candied blood oranges and vanilla frosting.
BlaqPaks Zero Strap Backpack
Welcome to a whole new world in backpack design. BlaqPaks, a purveyor of handmade backpacks, has come up with a Velcro-based attachment method for a strapless backpack. It sounds pretty convenient at first, but there are drawbacks.
Roku Happy Streaming Socks
Roku has an answer to the problem of not wanting to touch your streaming-video remote when your hands are a greasy mess from your binge-watching snacks. Happy Streaming Socks have motion sensors that let you swipe to browse, tap to select and click your heels to play. Hey, these actually sound pretty awesome.
Amazon, Google and Apple are getting a digital assistant challenger from an unlikely place: OnlineLabels.com. The labels retailer introduced Labelie, a voice assistant with a one-track mind.
Voice biometrics company Pindrop has a smartphone authentication concept that goes far beyond Apple’s Face ID. With Tongueprinting technology, you lick your phone screen to gain access. Convenient? Maybe. Gross? Yes.
Honda CR-V Roadster
Honda UK got a little trigger-happy with a saw and removed the roof from a CR-V to create a. “The structural rigidity of the car has been reduced overall by approximately 100 percent, currently rendering it completely undrivable,” the Honda team noted. It definitely won’t go over well in the UK’s rainy climate.
Porch Piracy Protection
Few criminals would dare brave the wrath of an ill-tempered baboon just to steal a package off your porch. Men’s gifting company Man Crates developed its deeply satisfying Porch Piracy Protection program to keep package thieves from nabbing your stuff. The service includes options for a pissed-off baboon, camouflage by way of a fake CRT TV with a “free” sign, a chatty solicitor and a creepy clown. Your packages will be plenty safe.
Cryptocurrency is on the mind of home design, decorating and remodeling site Houzz, which says it’s offering a bitcoin-style ICO on April 1. HouzzCoinzz plays on the volatility of digital currency with a buzzword-filled ad that drops phrases like “private key authentication” and “immutable transaction ledger.” Just watch out for the fine-print warning that your investment could be worth $0 tomorrow.
Forget plastic, rubber or silicone for your next smartphone case. Case maker Tech21 has a tastier idea, the FlexChoc chocolate case. The edible case combines dark and milk chocolate with 10 feet (3 meters) of drop protection. Tech21 says it “strikes the perfect balance between flavor and durability.”
Chances are you don’t take up your whole bed when you sleep. Mattress retailer Lucid Mattress combines that idea with an Airbnb concept to offer ShareBED for April Fools’ Day. ShareBED encourages you to rent out the spare space in your bed to strangers, a practice the fake ad promises is “completely safe.” This April Fools’ entry is both creepy and funny.
Online glasses retailer Zenni Optical and iconic noodle brand Nissin Cup Noodles joined forces to create eyewear designed to help you clearly see your ramen while you eat. The Ramen Opticals glasses have a built-in fan that prevents steam from gathering on the lenses and a removable fork to let you chow down with ease. Even better, Zenni and Cup Noodles actually built a prototype.
Online retailer Wayfair came up with an April Fools’ concept for home decor that you’ll wish were real. Scentsible Wallpaper is digital wallpaper that can change with a simple app adjustment. To make it officially weird, the the wallpaper is also scented, so it can smell like anything from lemons to a beach.
Rent the Runway for Dogs
Online fashion rental service Rent the Runway knows pets are a perfect theme for April Fools’ Day pranks. So it launched Rent the Runway for Dogs, which promises to let customers rent matching outfits for their pups. The fake service includes reviews from fluffy fashionistas who praise the stylish pooch clothes. Rent the Runway says it would consider making this a real service if enough customers request it.
Car-shopping site iSeeCars is looking to appease the Google gods this April Fools’ Day with Google Shrine, a place to offer prayers, links, AdWords dollars and 2,000-word blog posts in exchange for better search engine rankings.
In keeping with April Fools’ Day falling on Easter this year, online grocer FreshDirect went all-in on bunnies for its joke, which includes a mini-documentary about a rabbit trainer named Ned Hopper who collects fresh herbs harvested by his herd. The FreshDirect blog also features a series of adorable bunny biographies.
Fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. probably takes the prize for earliest joke this year for its March 25 Twitter announcement that it would rename its charbroiled slider sandwiches “SpielBurgers” in honor of director Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” opening this weekend.
Spielberg didn’t exactly play along, posting his own response telling Carl’s Jr. the sliders were “pretty good,” but that the chain would need to “cease and desist.” Still, it seems likely this is just all part of the marketing around the movie.
Genetic Select by Lexus
Car maker Lexus teamed up with DNA-analysis company 23andMe to help customers find the perfect vehicle to match their genetics. Lexus promises to deliver a custom-built Lexus within 48 hours after your spit-test DNA analysis. The vehicle even comes with a genetically personalized new-car smell. The kicker comes at the end of the ad when the driver starts the car using a very unusual method.
Sparkling-water machine-maker SodaStream applied its carbonation technology to a fake product called SodaSoak that adds bubbles to your bath water. It even recruited “Game of Thrones” actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays The Mountain, for the faux commercial.
BBC and ITV’s BritBox streaming-video service knows the accents on its shows can be hard for some Americans to understand. Its April Fools’ joke, called Interp-Brit, adds a button to the video player that switches all the dialogue over to American voices. Just wait until you hear a “Doctor Who” Dalek utter “exterminate” in a bored American accent.
Language app Duolingo is getting a little sudsy for April Fools’ Day with the introduction of Brewolingo, a lineup of fictional beers that will help you learn a language just by imbibing them. “True fluency comes from a mix of consistent studying, cultural immersion, and getting tipsy,” a press release quotes Duolingo co-founder Luis von Ahn saying. The joke plays on actual research showing alcohol consumption can improve foreign language skills.
Howie the Smart Storage Smart Bot
Self-storage company Life Storage introduced a sweetly goofy-looking AI-powered storage valet robot named Howie. Howie looks like a moving box, but is eager to help people pack and stash their gear. The robot’s charming incompetence puts this one in the running for cutest April Fools’ joke of the year.
WArby’s onion-ring monocle
Eyewear brand Warby Parker got together with fast-food giant Arby’s to explore the synergy between glasses and meat through a WArby’s collaboration. The joke video about the partnership promotes an onion-ring monocle.
There is a crossover into reality with this prank as some real WArby’s merchandise will be available at Warby Parker stores in New York City over April Fools’ weekend. The monocles will also be available at a couple of New York City “WArby’s” locations for a limited time.
Chegg Osmosis Pillow
Online textbook rental company Chegg introduced the Osmosis Learning Pillow, a memory-foam pillow that pounds knowledge into your head while you sleep. All you have to do is put your textbooks underneath it and snooze.
We’ll update this post as April Fools’ Day jokes continue to arrive, so keep an eye out for the latest and craziest prank developments.
First published, March 28, 12:04 p.m.
March 30 at 9:26 a.m. PT: Adds T-Mobile, Chocolate Whopper, Roku, BlaqPaks and Labelie.
March 29 at 4:06 p.m. PT: Adds HouzzCoinzz, FlexChoc, Porch Privacy Protection, Honda CR-V Roadster and Tongueprinting.
March 29 at 8:36 a.m. PT: Adds ShareBED, Ramen Opticals, Scentsible Wallpaper, Rent the Runway for Dogs, Google Shrine and rabbit-foraged herbs.
It’s Complicated: This is dating in the age of apps. Having fun yet?
Batteries Not Included: The CNET team reminds us why tech is cool.