Why one brand isn’t letting coronavirus cancel its April Fools’ Day plans

Many other marketers have reversed course on their plans for April 1 because of the pandemic.

HUNTERSVILLE, NC: The coronavirus pandemic has prompted many household-name brands to cancel their April Fools’ Day plans for this year. Google is foregoing its annual April 1 initiative, and T-Mobile is encouraging consumers and other brands to #GiveThanksNotPranks.

But Tire Pros, a national franchise of 700 independent tire and automotive service centers, is going full-steam ahead with its April Fools’ Day plans.

On Wednesday, the brand is unveiling Tire Prose, a collection of tire-inspired poetry readings by The Office star Brian Baumgartner and Tire Pros dealers. The plan is for the poems to be read in the style of Jimmy Kimmel’s Celebrities Read Mean Tweets segments and posted as stories on the brand’s Instagram account.

Tire Pros is going out of its way to let people in on the joke, rather than try to fool them, according to Glen Hilzinger, chief creative officer for Tire Pros’ PR AOR Luquire George Andrews.

“Fooling people in the current environment certainly doesn’t feel right, but at the same time, everyone can use a reason to smile these days,” Hilzinger said via email. “So we decided to let people in on the joke from the start. It’s less ‘April Fools’ Day’ and more ‘April Fun Day.’”

LGA developed the concept, wrote scripts for the videos, built a landing page and created the mock book of “Tire Prose” at the heart of the campaign.

PR and marketing pros have mixed views on whether April Fools’ Day campaigns should go on despite the pandemic, according to a PRWeek poll.

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