Brands Going Viral: Mastering Holiday Humor for Marketing Success

You see brands go viral every April Fool's Day. There are cynics out there that will announce every year, "Please, get off my feed; don't do it. This whole year is a joke." And yet… brands persevere. And for good reason.

What I love about April Fool's Day is it lets you step a little bit outside of your everyday life and your usual brand perception. You can really go back to your brand pillars to tap into an almost fantastical dream world of content you might not otherwise we able to talk about on a normal day.

For example, for our client Orkin, we used this year to highlight  our newest "pest control technology." We're going back to our roots as a brand of really being that expert in the pest control space and eradicating those pests… but because it’s April Fool’s Day, we get to create the most fantastic version of that: The Orkin Guard Gnome.

@orkin 🚨 Introducing the latest breakthrough in pest control technology: the Orkin Guard Gnome! 🚨 Equipped with cutting-edge pest-detection cameras, ultra-sensitive motion sensors, and breakthrough pest-defense technology. Your home's newest defender has arrived, and he's ready to take on any challenge! #Orkin #pestcontrol #GardenGnome #garden #homeowner #PestTok #bugs #technology #productlaunch #aprilfools ♬ original sound - Orkin

The Orkin Guard Gnome is a garden gnome that's going to track your yard for pests and eradicate them on site. That's not something we could do in the real world, and it might not be something that lands on a regular day, but on a holiday like April Fool's Day, we can make it happen.

Social holidays like April Fool’s are one of the few opportunities where you can poke a little bit of fun at yourself, make fun of your own values, or make fun of your own way that you're perceived in the marketplace in a way that gets people laughing alongside you.

If smart brands want to be effective though, they need to make sure that that April Fool's Day joke is hinged in some little bit of reality, whether that's going back to your brand voice and positioning  or whether that's latching on to something your consumers are already saying about you in order to run with it and play along with them. It's a great opportunity to create that sense of play with your consumers.

Smart brands should plan these holiday moments ahead of time – ideally at the top of the year – in order to map out exactly which holidays they want to comment on and be a part of and which ones to set aside and not be present in. If you're posting every single holiday from National Sandwich Day to April Fool's Day to Tax Day, you then start to look a little bit inauthentic and you start to look like a brand that's just clout chasing.

But if you really smartly play in your content calendar and you pick out the holidays that make the most sense for your brand mission, your goals, your voice, and your personality, each of those holidays can be its own win and potential viral moment along the way.

With that in mind, below are some of the April Fool’s Day posts our Social Media experts found the most compelling for 2024.

Air Up - Pee Pod

This was strange and funny, definitely a brand not afraid to make fun of itself for virality. I saw this screenshotted on my X feed and thought it was a meme before going to the official IG and seeing it was a real post!

Ty Judson, Organic Social Content Coordinator

Moe’s and Sonic - Queso Slushie

Moe’s and Sonic collaborated for a Queso Slushie! Funny to see how two brands come together for this!

Caroline Anthony, Social Community Manager

Duolingo and Seatgeek - Duolingo on Ice


High production quality spoof of a disney on ice type event that leans heavily into humor and some edgy undertones that sparks a ton of engagement and inside jokes within their community. Even included a collaboration with Seatgeek to have a proper ticketing site.

Chris Vidal, Creative Producer

Tinder - VP of Ghost Hunting

Tinder killed it with this, being socially relevant around a common phenomenon on social in a way that will be shareable beyond just April Fools. Nobody likes to get ghosted.

Paul Ersly, Head of Social Strategy

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Paul Ersly and Acadia Social Media Team