NEW YORK In a political year when reality has often seemed stranger than fiction, pranksters had to work particularly hard in coming up with April Fools Day jokes that rose above the daily noise of the U.S. presidential campaign.
The age-old tradition of hoaxing on the first day of April was alive and well on Friday in bogus ad campaigns hawking everything from dog brassieres to employment agencies for babies.
“It gets more and more challenging to stand out,” said Rachael King, spokeswoman for ThirdLove, a lingerie maker that partnered with DogVacay, a pet sitting service, to unveil the fake line of dog brassieres.
The trick is to be outlandish and plausible at the same time: The online campaign for the bras, which promise to create “a smooth lifted shape that is beautiful as a tennis ball,” features photographs of canines wearing brassieres and gazing off into the distance.
Celebrity shenanigans on YouTube figured prominently in the mix this year. Rapper Snoop Dogg used the video service to introduce a fake “SnoopaVision” virtual reality experience, said Lauren Verrusio, spokeswoman for Google (GOOGL.O), which owns YouTube.
In another escapade seen on YouTube, Major League Baseball star Mike Trout and other players on the Los Angeles Angels pull a prank on teammate Garrett Richards, getting him involved in a phony marriage proposal gone wrong in a crowded restaurant.
Even the village of Lake Placid, New York, the home of the 1980 Winter Olympics, got into the act. It ran gag versions of its tourism newsletter on an online blog that say the town is “embracing” the idea of road-deicing salt leaching into groundwater and turning its beloved Mirror Lake into saltwater.
Another prank promotes “Jobs for Babies,” a bogus new service to help babies find their dream jobs, said Tierney Oakes, a spokeswoman for Beck Media Marketing, which created the stunt for ZipRecruiter, an online job posting service.
Babies are shown pounding on computer keyboards and crawling out of corporate elevators as the video explains their skill set: learning 10 times faster than an adult, quickly picking up languages and staying awake at all hours of the night.
“We want to help babies stand on their own two feet,” the video says.
(Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty and Chris Reese)