April Fools’ jokes are tricky, and not just because it’s way too easy to forget the date and believe Gmail’s about to turn blue for a few minutes. They’re also hard to get right: they need to be believable, but not too believable; absurd, but not totally out of left field. And most importantly, they need to leave your readers feeling in on the joke, rather than cheated and pissed off. We’ve compiled the highlights (or, depending on your viewpoint, lowlights) of today’s pranks from around the Web. From the email of the future to an Aaron Sorkin-esque HR move at a comics giant, here are the headlines that made us smile, cringe, and sometimes both.
Google Introduces Two New Products
First came Gmail Blue, a pitch-perfect bait-and-switch that talked up Google’s innovative, user-friendly culture before introducing the newest change to everyone’s favorite email platform: it’s now an aesthetically pleasing shade of blue. Then Google rolled out Google Nose, complete with the tagline “Smelling Is Believing.” The genius of Google’s prank is that it pokes fun at the company itself, not the customer. “How do we completely redesign and recreate something while keeping it exactly the same?” asks a clean-cut Silicon Valley computer geek, before a coworker calls Blue “better than what nature created.” Nose, meanwhile, spoofs Google’s insane variety of products. After all, if you’ve already developed search, email, social media, and advertising platforms, why shouldn’t smell be next?