The world hasn't really been celebrating April Fools' Day for the last two years. Covid-19 made it feel like the wrong time to be joking about anything. Some countries even threatened jail time for those joking about the virus.
But April Fools' pranks have reemerged this year and we were curious to see what brands would come up. We've rounded up some South African pranks over the years that really pulled the wool over people's eyes!
1. 2019 when Pick n Pay got people to smell their phones
Pick n Pay pulled out all the stops in 2019 with a press release that told people they could experience the shopping chain's new salted caramel hot cross buns over their new app.
The chain announced that it had accomplished a world first by creating "TasteTech" technology and creating a smell-o-vision app.
They even went to so far as to release a video showing Pick n Pay employees 'using' the app that got over 19k views! Obviously, TasteTech does not exist and there's no way you can smell food over your phone - but it really had people going!
Were you fooled by this prank?
2. 2001 when Carte Blanche told us Jacarandas we going to be removed
And now, for the biggest prank of all. In 2001 investigative journalism programme Carte Blanche included an insert on their Sunday lineup reporting that Jacaranda trees were going to be removed from Pretoria.
The insert included host Ruda Landman and showed municipal workers chopping down the trees. If you know anything about Gauteng residents, it's that we LOVE our Jacarandas. The show reported that because Jacarandas are not indigenous, the city had decided to remove them.
Viewers were completely fooled, and up in arms! Luckily, it was all a joke and we get to keep our beloved purple blossoming trees.
3. 2012 when Kulula told us they're landing planes on water
Low-cost airline Kulula's brand has always been about humour, so it makes sense that they embrace April Fools' Day. In 2012, they announced that they would land planes on 'water runways.' They partnered up with Bizcommunity, which released the following statement:
"Kulula has already taken steps to curb rising airport traffic congestion and high airport taxes by pioneering flights to secondary airports like Lanseria and even proposing to purchase the mothballed Durban airport from government, which was regrettably rejected. Its latest innovation will see selected flights landing on state-of-the-art water runways near Cape Town and Durban harbours and Hartbeespoort Dam in Gauteng."
Imagine landing on Hartbeespoort? We're glad it was just a prank!
4. And most recently ... Woolworths tells us of their new Chuckles flavour
Woolworths pulled a cute prank this year by unveiling their new Chuckles flavour - Rotisserie Chicken. Chuckles is one of the shopping chain's most beloved products, so they knew they would get a BIG reaction with this post.
Many fell for the prank, expressing disgust (and in some cases delight), while others knew it was a joke from the start.
Here are some of the responses:
"I have been waiting for this my entire life. Gonna be sooooo good. Yay. Two of the top things to come out of woolies: chuckles and that rotisserie chicken! Together?!?! Yes please."
"Don't joke about this. When I was pregnant with my youngest I craved chicken covered in chocolate... and yes I did make it and yes it was delicious... to my pregnant brain at least! Glad you didn't pull this joke 12 years ago... I would have cried lol"
"Thank goodness we know this is a joke. Heavens alive the combo would be awful."