Google Pauses April Fools Messaging

Google plans to cancel its annual April 1 jokes out of respect for those fighting COVID-19. It might be a lead for other brands to follow in light of the pandemic.

The company believes it would be in poor taste to follow through with the typical process of pranking readers and posting jokes. Some in the past have been pretty outrageous.

“Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one,” states an email first obtained by Business Insider. “We’ve already stopped any centralized April Fools efforts but realize there may be smaller projects within teams that we don’t know about.”

Americans react to COVID-19 in a variety of ways. Some tend to joke more often, while others choose to remain more serious.



Either way, the majority of Americans have concerns about COVID-19. Some 67% describe the outbreak as a significant crisis, far fewer describe it as a serious problem at 28%, and just 4% say it is a minor problem or not a problem at all, according to data from the Pew Research Center.

People ages 65 and older, those with at least a college education, those following news about the outbreak very closely and people in urban areas are likely to describe the coronavirus outbreak in the most serious terms and call it a significant crisis.

When asked to consider the economic impact of COVID-19 on the U.S., 48% say it will cause a recession, while another 17% think it will cause a depression. About 34% expect a less severe economic impact and say the coronavirus will result in an economic slowdown, but not a recession or depression, according to Pew Research Center.

Adults ages 50 and older see a greater personal health threat from the coronavirus than those under age 50. Some 47% of those 65 and older and 40% of those ages 50 to 64 see the virus as a major threat to their own health. About one-third of those ages 30 to 49 and 27% of those 18 to 29 say the same.

Google said it will spend more time helping consumers and business by posting online helpful and useful information. Google recently posted information to help companies move from physical to virtual gatherings. The guide is to help companies think about the changes they should make to events as they bring them online, basic tools available, and guidance on content and communication.

1 comment about "Google Pauses April Fools Messaging".
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  1. Tanya Gazdik from MediaPost, March 30, 2020 at 3:12 p.m.

    I have done the April Fools Day marketing roundup story for MediaPost for the last three years. By now, I'm usually inundated with several dozen pitches. This year, just one brand no one has heard of pitched me a week ago.  When I didn't respond, the PR person "circled back." I told her I was not planning to do a roundup because no one else thought it was in good taste, but if she'd like, I could write a story about how the brand she was pitching was still going ahead with their not-very-funny "gag" despite the country being in the middle of a national crisis. She didn't like that idea very much. 

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