April Fools: A Roundup of the Best Retail Store Hoaxes

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With another April 1 under our belts, we wanted to give a shout out to some of the best April Fools pranks and marketing campaigns from retailers over the last few years:

 

Bonobos TechStyle

In 2014, menswear retailer Bonobos decided to have some fun with our wearables obsession by announcing the launch of TechStyle, a new line of clothing that incorporates our favorite technology into fashion. The fake apparel line includes high-tech features like Wi-Fiber, Smart Fabric (“Now our shirts can actually know you!”), Social Connectivity and Full-Body Synchronization (“Forget buttons! Just simply move in one direction to activate these life-saving features!”).

Click on the video below to see how it all works:

 

Ikea Bigland

Why should kids have all the fun at Ikea? For April Fools 2017, the famed Swedish home furnishings retailer turned Smaland (the store’s supervised children’s area) into Bigland, an adult playground with a bar (order a Lingonberry MALMosa!), a Swedish massage center (Premium Swedish Meatball Eye Mask anyone?) and even an Arbitration Station where couples or roommates with opposing decorating styles can duke it out with the help of a professional mediator.

 

 

Lululemon Spray-On Yoga Pants

Back in 2013, yogawear chain Lululemon was forced to recall about 17% of its yoga pants for being too sheer.[1] Besides being the butt (pun intended) of countless social media jokes, the retailer’s founder Chip Wilson also drew ire for his insensitive response[2] and the brand’s stocks tumbled. Fast forward to 2014 and Lululemon finally turned the story around with its hilarious April Fools prank ad for Spray-On Yoga Pants.

The Spray-On Yoga Pants were a clear response to late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel’s spoof commercial from March 27th, 2014, promoting “Lululemon Pledge,” black spray-on yoga pants. The ad’s voiceover hilariously claimed: “Lululemon Pledge: because the best pants are no pants at all.

 

 

Lululemon responded with following day with an Spray-On Yoga Pant product page, promising that each can has the capacity of delivering 1,200 pairs of pants that “fit like a second skin.”

 

 

Warby Parker’s Warby Barker

It wouldn’t be April Fools without an animal prank! Over the years, cats and dogs have dominated retail and e-commerce spoofs and Warby Parker’s aptly named Warby Barker eyewear collection for pooches is our personal favorite.

 

 

Launched in 2012 with its own fully developed microsite (still live at WarbyBarker.com), hipster eyewear brand Warby Parker’s foray into pet eyewear includes a monocle for dogs and cool shades which, when added to your shopping cart, prompt super cute messages like this one:

 

 

REI’s ZipAll Jumpsuit

For April Fools 2018, outdoor gear co-op REI poked a little fun at its zipper-happy customers with the introduction of a new jumpsuit called ZipAll. Inspired by their bestselling Sahara Convertible Pants, the ZipAll is a moisture-wicking adventure jumpsuit with over 30 zippers that can morph into 1,001 unique wearing modes – from sleeveless to crop top. Other playful features include movable pockets, a deployable beanie, a cape that doubles as a bib (“for those messy camp meals”) and a roasting-stick arm holster (“for all those long hours by the campfire”)!

Click below to watch the hilarious promo video for ZipAll:

 

 

[1] Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lululemon-warning/lululemon-withdraws-sheer-yoga-pants-stock-drops-idUSBRE92I01520130319

[2] Source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/lululemon-founder-chip-wilson-blames-womens-bodies-yoga/story?id=20815278