April Fool’s Day is just around the corner, which basically means that you are not only going to be trolled by your peers but by technology companies too. A number of technology companies including Google, Microsoft, Tesla, Amazon, Netflix, Snap, among others are known for playing pranks on users on April 1. However, Microsoft decided to do something different this year and has taken a stand against its own pranks.
The software giant’s marketing chief Chris Capossela has issued a warning to all employees of Microsoft to not indulge in the process of annoying hoaxes on Monday. Technology website The Verge obtained an internal memo win which Capossela has explained that “data tells us these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles.” In addition to this, he has also told all the teams at Microsoft to not come up with any April Fools’ Day stunts for the public.
Capossela has been quoted saying, “I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day.” We should add here that considering some April Fools’ Day plans by technology companies shave back-fired in the past, it’s probably safe to follow this.
To recall, Google had to apologize for adding Despicable Me minions into emails and for muting threads, that created quite a chaos for scored of Gmail users a few years ago. Even Microsoft has been a part of the companies who have pranked their users on April Fools’ Day in the past.
It is worth adding that Microsoft’s ban on April Fools’ Day comes when the software giant resurrected its Clippy Office assistant before killing it again a day later. The employees of the company transformed the paperclip into an animated pack of stickers and used it for Microsoft’s Teams chat software. However, it has been reported that the paperclip was shut down a day later by the ‘brand police’ inside Microsoft.
Here’s a look at the full internal memo sent by Capossela:
It’s that time of year when tech companies try to show their creativity with April Fools’ Day stunts. Sometimes the outcomes are amusing and sometimes they’re not. Either way, data tells us these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles.
Considering the headwinds the tech industry is facing today, I’m asking all teams at Microsoft to not do any public-facing April Fools’ Day stunts. I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day.
Please forward to your teams and internal partners to ensure people are aware of the ask to stand down on external April Fools’ Day activities.
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