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04/01/2019

April Fools – Three retail press pitches too funny to be true

April Fools’ Day gags extend to the world of public relations.

As a longtime journalist, I have learned to pay extra close attention to press releases hitting the wires on April 1. Most public relations representatives have a sense of humor, and they are not above using it to get payback on the writers who are often too overwhelmed or plain grumpy to notice their less sensational press pitches.

In the spirit of the holiday, here are three actual press pitches that caught my eye and tickled my funny bone today.

Hardees – Taking care of biscuits
I love a good biscuit and am partial to Hardees, so I feel bad that today’s announcement of a new “Chief Biscuit Officer” (CBO) position will be tomorrow’s punchline. Primary responsibilities include being an early riser (after all, biscuits start rising at 4 a.m.), being up to your elbows in flower and buttermilk, and ensuring that every Hardee’s biscuit is made-from-scratch, baked to meet Hardee’s one-of-a-kind process and tastes delicious. Specific biscuit experience is a plus and you must come hungry. If they ever post this on April 2, I may be interested…

Sleep on the cheap
Mattress provider Purple introduced the world’s first 99 cent mattress today. As even a scary used mattress from a yard sale costs more than 99 cents (or so I am told), this one immediately activated my April Fools’ radar. Plus the fact the mattress is allegedly the size of a smartphone, and invented by a former NASA rocket scientist. Purple was nice enough to acknowledge the prank at the end of the press release, but I think even the more gullible members of the press corps had figured this one out.

Pics for pets
What better day than April 1 for photo editing and graphic design platform PicMonkey to launch the desktop version of PetPuppy, a pet-specific solution. Since over 60% of Instagram pictures are of dogs or cats (according to PicMonkey “data”), it makes perfect sense to create software for them to use their paws and noses to design online photos, right? Planned for future releases: design software for elephants and monkeys. PicMonkey also came clean in the end.

These all made me laugh and I’m not upset by them. Rather, I would like to salute the PR pros trying to liven up their day (and mine, and maybe the public’s) with a little April foolery.