Since the advent of social media, companies have used this often-forgotten holiday to drum up buzz by creating awareness through their social channels and driving online traffic to their websites. My favorite thing about April Fool’s Day marketing is the sheer amount of creativity on display. Companies normally known for serious, informative content get a free pass for the day to come up with something funny, outrageous, and truly original. Let me walk you through Kzoom’s approach for this year’s April 1st shenanigans and see if it helps you out for next year.
When it was time for the Kzoom team to start brainstorming ideas for this year’s April Fools content, we started at the logical place: The Table. Now when I say “The Table” I’m referring to the place where all ideas are brought to, all cards are laid out; it’s the place where companies are often too scared to go. The Table isn’t a physical “table”, although, in Kzoom’s case, it was. We just happened to be sitting around a table when we started brainstorming ideas.
We started our session at The Table by throwing out ideas left and right. The key to a great brainstorming session is everyone understanding that most of what is said is not going to make the cut. Once people understand that everyone’s ideas are getting shut down, a sense of comradery is formed knowing that “we’re all coming up with irrelevant ideas together”. People shouldn’t be afraid to share an idea because they feel like it won’t be useful. This is important because even the so-called “worst” idea can spark a better one. Just like how you can love some aspects of a movie, but genuinely dislike the whole thing, ideas that seem disjointed or don’t necessarily line up with what you want might have glimpses of creative potential that could ignite a better idea down the road by you or another person on the team. So eventually, with enough ideas being thrown out there on The Table, one might eventually stick. And that’s what happened with us at Kzoom.
After brainstorming and a healthy amount of tangents, we settled on a rough direction of where we wanted to go. From there, we repeated the process of brainstorming, narrowing down ideas, and sifting through what we wanted our project to look like. Like a sculptor who doesn’t know what he’s sculpting until he’s done, we chiseled away at our idea until we gradually revealed what would become our April Fools plan.
We ended up with this:
Not only did we make a video, but we also had the secondary purpose of showing off our photography capabilities and website design as well. Kzoom was also getting ready to launch a new rebrand of its existing website, so this project was a true “kill 3 birds with one stone” kind of project.
We got to 1) show off our creativity through video, photo, and the creation of a landing page, 2) creatively launch our new website, and 3) have borderline too much fun doing it. (This is one of our core values.)
After our time brainstorming, it was time to plan out how to make Kloom a reality, even if it was just for a day. This is where we took advantage of our team’s multiple skills. We scripted the video, planned our photo shoot, and made initial designs for the Kloom landing page that would be where we sent people through the various posts on our social channels. From there, we got to work:
With each step completed, the clear vision of Kloom began to take shape. Once everything was finalized and we were ready, all we needed to do was schedule our posts for April 1st.
Overall, you won’t really know the full impact of your April Fools project until it’s released and you get to see peoples’ reactions. Yes, it is a risk putting content out there that isn’t “safe” and “normal”, but beyond “safe” is where the treasure lies. Plus you get the added benefit of creating something, even if it’s small, you’ve created it. We were created to create, and when we use our creativity to think outside the norm and make something like an April Fools project, I believe it strengthens our creativity elsewhere in our jobs. If we can have fun brainstorming for April Fools with our colleagues, why can’t we bring that same level of excitement and vigor to everyday marketing? The answer: we can and we should.
Jordan Avery is Kzoom’s lead videographer, live stream specialist, animator, and occasional photographer. He hosted an award winning radio show in college and currently hosts a podcast called Questions & Absurdities that might be the most creative thing you’ll hear this week. When not being an idea machine, Jordan can be found cycling or shredding the concrete wave on his longboard. His favorite word is “qualms”, though he currently has none.