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The Art of April Fool’s Day

It was two weeks before April 1 and as a team we’re wondering what do on social to commemorate the day.

Admittedly, pulling off a good April Fool’s Day prank as a brand is tricky business. There are SO many ways any plan could backfire. Big time. You don’t want to sacrifice the relationships you’ve made with your audience in order to get in a good gotcha.

For the past few years we’ve tried our hand at April foolery. One year we pulled together an entire series of wacky CSU factoids that seemed too good to be true but were in fact real in a campaign we called, Not Foolin’.

In 2014, we decided to capitalize on the popularity and abundance of campus squirrels and pranked our audience into believing that we needed to register all of them with the State of Colorado. Part of the registry process required us to provide names for all of the campus squirrels. Our fans jumped in and helped out with plenty of name suggestions.

In 2015, we pulled off our best prank yet. This is why it worked.

Believable.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 3.10.42 PMThe Lory Student Center was recently renovated and new artwork was regularly being installed. Throwing out the idea of a new mural featuring CSU mascot CAM the Ram in an art masterpiece wasn’t that far-fetched.

Images of the paintings were amazing.

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Spending time to make the paintings look spot on paid off. They looked like the real deal.

CAM the Ram is beloved.

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We know that our fans love CAM the Ram so even if they knew it was an April Fool’s joke, they still participated in the fun by liking, commenting and sharing the CAM masterpieces.

People actually WANTED it to happen. 

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We were surprised at how many fans were completely on board with the idea of having one of the CAM masterpieces on display in the Lory Student Center. Even AFTER we told them it was an April Fool’s joke.

We played along with those who were appalled.

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In keeping with the tone that this post was all in good fun, we tried an lighten the mood with those who thought it was a terrible idea.

April Fool’s jokes are a delicate thing. Thankfully, we weren’t the fools this year.