April Fool’s Brand Pranks: Google, YouTube, Virgin, Honda, Sony, Toshiba & more [Updated]


In a bid to outdo last year’s April Fool’s Day jokes, a few April Foolin’ Around branded fake gags today include:

• Richard Branson‘s next adventure, Virgin Volcanic, will take the intrepid billionaire to the center of the earth with Tom Hanks;

• in addition to really advanced search and Google TV Click, perennial prankster Google brings its self-driving car to NASCAR racing (above) and, below, announces Morse Code-based Gmail Tap (double your typing speed!) with LL Cool J, plus 8-bit Google Maps for the neglected Nintendo Entertainment System, and more:[more]

Google Chrome unveiled multi-mouse web-browsing:

Google Fiber announced an edible brand extension:

Google Australia customizes Google Street View with Google Street Roo, capturing the outback “one bounce at a time” —

Google China does a deep dive into underwater search:

Google-owned YouTube announced The YouTube Collection, ” A whole new way to enjoy the videos you love” —

Warby Parker‘s Warby Barker offshoot addresses the underserved canine corrective eyewear market —

TERII, Honda‘s new anti-theft negotiator, is billed as “the most advanced vehicle theft-deterrent system ever made. More than a car alarm, TERII uses biometric recognition and negotiating tactics to protect against vehicle theft.”

Conan O’Brien ousted Pete Cashmore as CEO of Mashable (hence the O’Brien-hued website today):

Canada’s WestJet airline announced Kargo Kids, a child-free flight option:

Sony Vaio Q claims to be world’s smallest ultrabook:

Toshiba innovates with custom-shaped tablets:

Lynx UK (aka Axe in the US) unleashes a spray app:

Kodak‘s homepage announces a tech breakthrough: printing live kittens on demand —

MINI‘s pranks this year includes a a DIY Countryman and, below, an amphibious Yachtsman and a Clubvan with pop-up tent:

Ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, BMW UK turns a car into a driverless fitness coach —

Peugeot UK demonstrates mood paint

Nabisco‘s Chips Ahoy! cookie brand announced singular Chip Ahoy! launch on Facebook:

Nestle‘s Butterfinger chocolate bar brand aims to fool with QR crop square stunt:

Whole Foods trooHelth offers Big Brother-like premium customer health coaching

Sega‘s new game release today: “Bass Fishing of the Dead” —

Fresh Scent promotes bacon-scented cat litter — 

Green Works adds 5% hickory bacon scent —

Jockey‘s indispensable disposable ‘brief’ brief, debriefed — 

California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium promoted a one-day-only Plesiosaurus display:

Switzerland’s Emmentaler cheese brand reveals gecko production method:

Skype for String offers a new low-tech messaging alternative

Update: Thanks for all the tips — also flagged by readers:

Amazon Local’s Boston deal: 10-minute head start for marathoner;

Etsy acquired hipster central: the city of Portland, Oregon;

 Expedia‘s Facebook Check-in; 

 Flickr one ups Instagram with retro grainy default setting;

• Samsung quits blogging (but read the first letter of each line of final blog post);

• Criterion Collection adds Kindergarten Cop collectors’ edition DVD;

• Elsewhere in Australia, cherry-flavored Vegemite and Ikea‘s allen key recall:

Any brand pranksters we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Also, here’s the post-script to O’Brien’s Mashable takeover:

And don’t miss this fan-made video game spoof: “Assassin’s Creed” for Xbox Kinect —


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