Last week you may have heard a story about La Poste delivering newspapers using Parrot AR Drones – this of course was a hoax put on by the two companies in the spirit of April Fools day; however, despite the conveniently timed announcement, it seems several US & French blogs fell victim to the hoax, including VentureBeat, The Atlantic, Business Insider & others.
The story came in a year when it seems tech bloggers have collectively decided that April Fools Day was no longer cool. With pranks like Netflix including a category dedicated to films where Nicolas Cage freaks out (a montage to this viral YouTube video which compiles all the scenes in which cage “loses his shit”), and Google announcing a suite of fake features and products, to me it seemed like yet another year of good ol’ fashion fun.
Sure, some companies are using it a bit more as a way to push their brand, latest product, or whatever – but isn’t that the spirit of almost every holiday? Shameless marketing born out of a sincere joy had by a few many years ago? I still find a simple pleasure in remembering XKCD’s terminal code a few years back, or Google’s great video about the guys who deliver search suggestions in real-time – what’s even more great is that more & more countries are getting involved.
Parrot’s and La Poste’s prank was probably the first real Internet April Fools Day prank to get international attention, and hopefully it will build as a tradition in France and other countries. Moreover, let’s not forget one astonishing fact of this whole story: that the giant La Poste group managed to coordinate with a startup for a common purpose that didn’t involve sucking the life force out of the startup. I think that’s a win in and of itself.