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Who's fooling who? The PR rush on April 1

Never mind the media – companies and brands have been trying to pull the wool over for a bit of publicity today… so here it is.

Walking with dinosaurs: Fota Wildlife Park joked that they had created dinosaur embryos for their new 'Prehistoric Park'
Walking with dinosaurs: Fota Wildlife Park joked that they had created dinosaur embryos for their new 'Prehistoric Park'

MEDIA ORGANISATIONS LOVE a little April Fool’s joke. Hell, TheJournal.ie might have even indulged in a little photoshoppery trickery ourselves this morning (did you spot it?).

But can’t it get a little… tiring… trying to figure out who is fooling who? Here are some of the company press releases we have decided are definitely trying to get one over on April 1:

  • Fota Wildlife Park announced it was to start work on a new area called Prehistoric Park which would host species “from the Dinosaur Age”. Fota said that UCC zoological and bio-medical students had successfully managed to grow an Ornithomimus embryo from fossil DNA. Warning to Fota: It didn’t work out so well for Jeff Goldblum and co:

  • Bewley’s cafés also had an animal-themed April’s Fool. Slightly less ambitious than recreating whole species of extinct animals, they proposed to bring two Charolais and two Friesian cows into the Grafton Street Bewley’s branch. This “direct milk production” would “further maximise the freshness of cappuccinos and lattes”, they hoped. We liked the name of their “moo” product though – “Cow-puccinos”.
  • AA Ireland went in the other direction entirely, assuring people that they were not participating in the April Fool’s press release from their UK colleagues which was marked “AA Pothole Patrols”. Said Conor Faughnan, “It’s not that we have lost our sense of humour but genuinely the issue is too serious here in Ireland.” AA Ireland actually have a pothole petition to try and get something done about the state of Ireland’s roads.
  • Ryanair were too quick off the mark with their “child-free” flights release yesterday. However, the laugh might be on them – Tweeters and comments left on TheJournal.ie indicate that some of you might actually pay extra for such a service.
  • We WISH this one was true – PopCap Games said they had developed “PlayWave”, a microwave that would cook gamers’ food according to their performance in a game played at the same time.
  • Google announced the arrival of Gmail Motion – or GMotion if you will – which allows you to issue commands to email through moving your body. We might have thought this was plausible enough, considering the success of Xbox Kinect, until we saw the demo guy at about 0.37 into this explainer vid:

  • However, some companies just can’t even begin to know how to pull off an April Fool’s gag. The Wall Street Journal noted that phone and broadband company TalkTalk issued a press release saying that it was launching a system that converted dog barks into English, thereby allowing our canines to “friend” us on Facebook. Pity TalkTalk let the cat out of the bag by calling it a “spoof system”…
  • And Paul Gogarty the Brand got a little bit of a plug for itself on RTE Radio 1′s John Murray Show this morning. The ex-Green TD launched his “debut single” and played it live and acoustic (watch here). We PRAYED it was a joke.

One to take seriously? ‘Healy-Rae for President’ story is no joke, says Radio Kerry>

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