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Most of us wouldn’t want to act the fool…unless of course it’s April Fool’s Day. Following in the footsteps of companies such as Google and Virgin Atlantic, which have reputations as serial pranksters, this morning saw hordes of brands vying for their moment in the spotlight.

The Sun quickly became the topic of our early morning office debates with its feature on the newly named ‘Frackingham Palace’. It reported that the Queen had given her royal seal of approval for fracking to take place in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Many people may have seen this as an insensitive choice of topic given the recent furore but, with its target audience carefully considered, tweeters using the hashtag #FrackinghamPalace seem to have taken to the spoof.

Next to catch our attention was Domino’s, which posed the question ‘Why think outside the box, when you can eat it?’ and revealed the world’s first ever ‘Snackaging’.  The global pizza delivery company announced that with every future delivery there would be the opportunity to upgrade to the ‘Edibox’, a waste-free dining experience. Perfectly composed and almost believable, this simple prank definitely got the public talking on Twitter using the hashtag #DominosEdibox.

Whilst pulling off the perfect prank can be a fun and quirky way to engage with customers, it can also act as a valuable PR tool, working wonders for a brand’s awareness.  Using social media, companies can spread the news of their pranks like wildfire, fooling unsuspecting members of the public in the process.

April Fool’s Day may be the ideal day to introduce this tactic, but some brands know how to use this strategy throughout the year. McVitie’s recently created a well-timed joke on the back of the Budget 2014. Following The Royal Mint’s announcement that the pound coin will be 12-sided by 2017, McVitie’s jumped on the dodecagon bandwagon by declaring that its Jaffa Cakes would also go 12-sided in a bid to prevent counterfeiting.

So, are pranks fun or foolish? They’re certainly a great way to speak directly to your customers and get them talking about your brand. So we say embrace the puns, pranks and jokes that make PR fun and share your favourite April Fool from 2014 here!