April Fool’s Day became infinitely more fun upon the advent of the world wide web, and this year did not disappoint. In fact, 2014 might go down in history as one of the most epic years in the history of Internet pranks, on par with some classics like Google’s Scratch and Sniff search application option some years back (admit it, you put your nose against your screen). Let’s take a look at some of this year’s classiest, craziest, and all around awesomest Internet pranks.
One rather amazing prank (this one especially relevant on this here site) was perpetrated by Sex.com, who posted a big message on their home screen detailing their shift to a porn-free website (so, more like Instagram, with food porn instead of breasts, etc.). According to the site, more than 800,000 people tried to give donations to keep the site as it was, some of the site’s staff even fooled by the prank. So many people were upset about it that Sex.com had to issue a statement Wednesday admitting to the prank. Well done, Sex.com, well done.
Bill Clinton also had some magic to pull. He created a Twitter account that mimicked everything about Hillary’s, down to the weird descriptions of himself, the best being “Bono impersonator.” Clinton is officially an awesome Internet troll.
Netflix made me incredibly happy with their prank. They uploaded a Netflix original film entitled Sizzling Bacon that’s simply a film of bacon sizzling. I’m kinda mad that it isn’t real, as I would probably watch this film a thousand million times (they could sell it for three dollars and make all the money on the planet). Dominoes followed suit, actually, with a similar prank, creating false advertising for an edible pizza box. Now, is it just me, or would that probably taste better than the sloppy pizzas that sally forth from said boxes, edible or not? Also, Chili’s tried to convince people they were making ice cream.
I’m happy to report as well that higher education jumped in on all the fun. Oberlin College’s prestigious college of arts and sciences, along with their legendary conservatory, filled their online marketing with ridiculously silly clipart. Like, imagine a shot of a professor giving an invigorating lecture, but with cartoon pizza slices and chicken wings everywhere. This one was one of my favorites, and made me sad I’d never applied to this particular school.
A site known as News Hound got in on the action and submerged the net in fake news stories about how scientists cloned a baby dinosaur. The picture was really well done, and if I’m not mistaken, the article and fake photo emerged a few days prior to April Fool’s, making this one weirdly convincing. It was literally everywhere on Facebook, leading me to believe that a whole host of now very disappointed folks thought this hoax was real. No dinosaurs yet, guys, sorry for crushing your last bits of hope.
Samuel Adams’ killed it with an ad for a new beer called HeliYUM, an artisan brew infused with a healthy dose of helium. The video was hilarious, with each sip of the beer making people’s voices raise many an octave (“I’m pretty light headed now” was the closing line of the commercial, which was brilliant). The only reason to believe this one is the hope that pure silliness exists in the brewing world.
Then there was Google. The Internet mega company made history with a bunch of amazing pranks, including an app that adds David Hasselhoff into photos (creating the most epic photobomb ever), a thing call Shelfies (shareable selfies), and of course, a game within Google Maps allowing the user to locate Pokemon all around the world, the rank of Pokemon Master offered to the best of Google users (there was a sweet promotional video). This may be one of the greatest things to ever happen on the Internet, and is the closest platform to a Pokemon online RPG we’ve seen so far (there’s hope, fellow nerds!). The creators of this prank must have been drinking HeliYUM to allow for this kind of genius; Pokemon were placed all around the globe, and could be caught with a single tap of the screen.
The trouble was finding the suckers (they were everywhere in the world). Even Mew made an appearance, and was the hardest to capture (of course). What was interesting here was seeing a whole bunch of people who’d never be caught dead tapping away at a Nintendo DS muttering “Gotta catch em all” furiously into their smartphones. Truly, it made my heart go all aflutter. Bravo, Google, bravo.