As April 1st approaches we take a look at some of the most memorable April Fools’ pranks within travel marketing. These are the endearing campaigns that grabbed our attention and shone a favourable light on brands we’d never considered before.
And it’s not just a few well-timed gags – some brands have gone to great lengths to create sophisticated campaigns that have a viral appeal. Here’s our rundown of the favourites in the office.
Hipster Air by Cheapflights
If you’re a discerning traveller looking to fly to the most happening locations in the world then Hipster Air is for you. Check in for a flight to an Instagram filtered destination using the emoji booking system. You’ll be given your boarding passes by the row of typewriters and those with the most prominent facial hair or stand-out outfits will be invited to Style High Club where they can enjoy kimchi-inspired snacks, a tattoo parlour and instruments for an impromptu jam sesh as well as complimentary Mindfulness sessions.
You can even enjoy in-flight entertainment in the form of subtitled foreign-language drama in which someone has been found guilty of a crime but might not be guilty… but probably is.
Bag your exclusive seat here
The bad news is that if you have kids you’ll never be able to enjoy the benefits of Hipster Air – there are no kids allowed – ever. This why our next choice is a child-friendly option aimed at the family traveller…
Kargo Kids by WestJet
Oh we love a bit of WestJet and here they are again getting it so right. Their child-free cabins campaign named ‘Kargo Kids’ appeals to both tired, travel-weary parents and travellers wanting to escape sharing a flight with children. Simply insert your little ones into a ‘travel toboggan’ at the check-in desk and they’ll be whisked away on a magic carpet ride along with your other baggage. With plenty of toys and a state of the art food trough, parents and travellers can sit back, relax and enjoy all that WestJet has to offer in peace and quiet.
Book your little ones in today
Disclaimer: No children were harmed in the creation of this campaign.
This brings us onto the last campaign that made us chuckle – one for everyone to enjoy regardless of age (well almost – it may involve some drinking and smoking).
Jump for Duty Free by Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook Airlines brings us ‘Jump for Duty Free’ a unique way to enjoy the perks of duty free prices after you’ve left the plane and even the airport. They already offered travellers the ability to order their duty free online for delivery to you on the plane with their ‘Airshoppen’ service, but wanted to develop this one step further – by offering delivery to your home address. “How can they possibly get away with charging duty free prices?” we hear you cry. Well, by asking their customers to jump into the air at the moment they receive the goods, so that they are exempt from the duty of the land. It’s all perfectly legal apparently…
Jump through this sneaky tax loophole here.
Warning: One customer interviewed replied that the experience was “deeply troubling”.
And what’s all this April Fools’ hijinks taught us? Well, it’s about reframing brands and connecting with your customers in a timely and lighthearted way. April Fools’ pranks might be a little clichéd, but your audience will be primed to receive a few as the day approaches. It’s a great way to get your name in front of those who wouldn’t otherwise give you a second look and spread your message in an endearing and humorous way.
Above all it shows that your brand has a human touch that never fails to appeal to the customer.