Soft drinks featured strongly in this year’s crop of April Fool’s day
advertising, which also yielded Britain’s first spoof political ad.
Readers of Monday’s Times were greeted by a giant box ad from BMP DDB
publicising an apparent decision by the Conservative Party to give a
pounds 2,030 refund to every tax payer in Britain. ‘We’re truly sorry
for all the hardship we’ve caused you. Hope you can put the money to
better use,’ read the ad, which quoted the Conservative Party Central
Office telephone number and a send-off coupon with which people could
claim their money. The sum was equal to the amount the Labour Party
claims tax payers have lost through new taxes introduced since 1992.
Another ground-breaking execution was created by Howell Henry Chaldecott
Lury, which persuaded the Daily Mirror to run a spoof story in
conjunction with an ad for Tango. The Mirror ran a feature about a
Lancashire reservoir where the water had been dyed orange so that if
people from Yorkshire stole the water, Lancastrians would know. A line
at the bottom of the article referred readers to ‘Comment on page 19’,
where an ad informed them they had been ‘Tango’d’.
Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe ran an April Fool’s ad for Virgin Cola
which showed a new Virgin Cola can that supposedly turns blue if the
cola goes flat. The ad was a dig at Pepsi Cola, which unveiled its new
blue livery on 2 April (see story, p2). The execution was considered so
close to the bone that the Mirror - which turned blue for the launch of
the Pepsi livery on Tuesday - refused to run the ad.
Other spoofs included the left-handed or right-handed Mars bar from
D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles, and a WCRS ad that claimed new
technology in BMWs deflects bugs from car windscreens.
In another twist, CIA Medianetwork used April Fool’s day as a new-
business platform. An ad placed in Monday’s Media Guardian invited
readers to call up for information on a technological breakthrough which
could speed up the launch of Channel 5.
CIA claimed to have identified a new broadcast standard, D-Brook.
Channel 5’s new marketing director is David Brook, the former marketing
director of the Guardian.