April Fool’s Day is a cultural touchstone, with brands of every kind competing for consumer attention with their various pranks. Wireless carrier T-Mobile wanted in on the action, particularly after new leadership assumed control of the organization in 2013. Its success is no joke—Porter Noveilli’s prank video for T-Mobile has won first place for Best Media Relations Video in PR Daily’s 2016 Media Relations Awards.
The video, “Pets Unleashed,” introduced a mobile plan for cats, dogs and other household pets, driving consumers to a site where they could “sign up” for the plan; in fact, T-Mobile donated $1 to the U.S. Humane Society for every visitor to the site.
The prank was introduced with a tongue-in-cheek blog post from CEO John Legere, but morning broadcasts were talking about it even before it appeared. Word spread further through the engagement of 16 social media animal-focused influencers, all using the #PetsUnleashed hashtag.
Ultimately, the campaign was covered in 128 print and online publications covering consumer, business and technology publications, along with 26 broadcast segments; in a single day of coverage, the campaign generated 600 million impressions. The prank made 77 percent of the round-up articles listing the best of the April Fool’s pranks, and the YouTube video drew 76,000 views on April 1st alone.
Happy April Fool’s Day and congratulations to T-Mobile’s Clint Patterson, Porter-Novelli’s Fred Shank, and Michael Vossler of Vossler Media Group, which handled video production.
View the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Kj-4F8pWfk