NEWS: Clients grab April Fool spoof ads opportunity

Soft drinks featured strongly in this year’s crop of April Fool’s day advertising, which also yielded Britain’s first spoof political ad.

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.

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