By now it has become commonplace for marketers and advertising agencies to front run holidays and big calendar events starting their campaigns centered on Christmas the Super Bowl or the back to school shopping season earlier each year.
For 2013 it seems April Fool s Day can be added to that list as waiting until April 1 to spring pranks on unsuspecting consumers becomes increasingly pass . The reason for the April Fool s front running is the same as the reason for the front running of other noted days the ability of social media like Facebook Twitter and YouTube to convey and amplify marketing messages.
For instance two major marketers started their April Fool s jokes last week. (Or officially it ought to be said seem to have started them in that neither is talking about whether their announcements were the real deal or tomfoolery.)
One company Procter Gamble along with several of its agencies introduced a Web site a video clip on YouTube and a Twitter hashtag for a new variety of Scope mouthwash called Scope Bacon billed as the mouthwash for breath that sizzles.
Bacon flavored mouthwash Really It appears that America must wait until Monday to find out if Procter is pulling its collective leg or perhaps pulling on a pig s foot. The other marketer the American Eagle Outfitters retail chain introduced what it described as a line of Skinny Skinny jeans for young men and women billed as our skinniest fit yet.
But in a video clip on YouTube the models appear to be wearing body paint rather than pants. And on the retailer s Web site there are cans of paint labeled Skinny Skinny in two colors at the preposterous price of $49.95.
Again American Eagle cautioned patience to those waiting for an explanation.
Some potential pranksters that pulled forward their mischief at least had the courtesy to label what they had planned as related to April Fool s Day. One was CBS which issued a news release on Tuesday that the April 1 episodes of The Price Is Right and Let s Make a Deal would have April Fool s Day themes.
In other instances April Fool s jokes were shared with reporters on Friday with the proviso that they be embargoed until Monday.
One example was a mock news release from the New York office of the Mother advertising agency announcing that Mother New York had been named the new agency of record for the shadowy conspirators known as the Illuminati after the mysterious organization spent nearly 237 years with its previous agency.
(Maybe the release is real in that as is the case with so many announcements about ad accounts changing hands Mother New York omitted the name of the previous agency.)
Munchkin a maker of products for babies and children is to announce on Monday an imaginary product named Naughty Mouth soap to make your point when baby s language isn t the cleanest. Flavors are to include lying liver and whining wasabi.
And the Professional Association of Diving Instructors is to announce on Monday an April Fool s addition to its offerings scuba diving certification for dogs and cats.