Gotcha! Organisations and brands get creative with April Fool's Day pranks

Organisations and brands including (clockwise, from top left) Ikea, Pokemon Go, Ribena and the SCDF all pulled April Fool's jokes on April 1, 2018.
Organisations and brands including (clockwise, from top left) Ikea, Pokemon Go, Ribena and the SCDF all pulled April Fool's jokes on April 1, 2018.PHOTOS: FACEBOOK/IKEA/POKEMON GO/RIBENA/SCDF

SINGAPORE - Organisations and brands love April Fool's Day, and we know it.

It is possibly the only day of the year that they get to engage in some harmless fun by preying on unsuspecting victims.

As always, a handy tip is that if it is too good to be true, then it probably is fake.

The Straits Times brings you some of the more interesting pranks seen on social media this year.

1. Ikea Singapore

If you have ever bragged about assembling furniture from Ikea without needing to refer to the instruction manuals, then this one's for you.

The Singapore chain of the Swedish furniture giant has posted a video on its Facebook page introducing its new "Ikea Assembly MANual".

"If you're part of the 92 per cent of the male population who refuses to read manuals, you're welcome," the post said.

The video goes on to feature the manuals for a few of its popular products, such as the Billy bookcase and Kallax shelving unit, except the pages are all are completely blank.

Facebook user Carlos Mor said in a comment: "Finally a manual that I can relate to. Is it for real Ikea?", to which Ikea Singapore replied: "As real as veggie meatballs!"

2. Singapore Civil Defence Force

It seems that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has found a novel way to tackle the perennial problem of motorists who do not give way to emergency vehicles.


A video on SCDF's Facebook page on Saturday night announced a new Ambulance Choir Ensemble, or ACE, which it claims will bring "Emergency Medical Service with the human touch".

When faced with a stubborn driver who is obstructing the road, SCDF officers can simply touch a button in their ambulance to blast a catchy tune to encourage the driver to give way.

An SCDF officer goes on to proudly say that ACE will be installed in all of its ambulances starting April 1, before it is then revealed to be an April Fool's Day prank.

Real or not, props to SCDF for its creativity in raising awareness of such an important issue.

3. Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) students were in for a rude shock when they learnt on Saturday that the air conditioning in lecture halls and classrooms will now be switched off on Mondays.

NP said in a Facebook post that it hopes to go green by adopting "No Air Con Monday".

The announcement got several students worried about how stuffy it could get in school, but NP went on to reassure them that fans will be used for ventilation.

Others, however, were suspicious of the timing of the announcement and guessed if it was just a prank.

On Sunday, NP said in a second post: "Happy April Fool's Day fam! No Air Con Monday is not real. You still have your air conditioning so please come to school on Mondays ok!"

4. Ribena Singapore

Ribena Singapore has shown that it is easy to turn your hair into the purple shade of your favourite childhood drink.

It has come up with a handy Do-It-Yourself hack, which involves adding a cup of Ribena cordial to your conditioner, before applying the mixture to your hair and wrapping it up with a towel for 20 minutes.

After a quick wash, a model is shown in the video flaunting the latest "Ribena hair".

Ribena fans, try this if you dare.

5. Durex Singapore

Durex Singapore on Saturday touted a new limited edition product that promises "a more tasty experience".

Posting a photo on its Facebook page, the condom manufacturer announced its pack of "100 per cent edible" condoms in an extra spicy, smoked chicken sausage flavor.

Interested buyers are directed to a website, which then says: "Just Kidding! Are you really that hungry?"

6. Pokemon Go


Millions of Pokemon Go players around the world found themselves in a massive throwback to a time of 8-bit graphics on Sunday.

On the game's official website, Niantic told players that the app's latest update has brought all-new, cutting-edge graphics to the Pokedex and the Nearby Pokemon screen.

"Registering approximately twice the definition of 4K, the chunky squares of each pixel provide realistic detail and unbelievable definition," the tongue-in-cheek announcement said.

But some Singaporeans were seemingly caught off guard, with a few calling for advice on how to fix the "bug" in their app in a Facebook group for local players.

While some think that the feature adds a nostalgic feel to the game, it seems that a few are eager for the day to be over to get their sleek, modern graphics back.

7. Foodpanda

Love good food but find chewing a hassle? Food delivery company Foodpanda says goodbye to chewing in a Facebook video featuring its line of "fusion blends".

The product comes in a classy bottle and promises "all the flavour without the hassle of having to chew".

A cheeseburger transforms into a unique drink known as "game night", while a chocolate cheesecake blend gives you just what you need to gulp down after a "break up".

Other flavours include "brunch time" and "binge out".

8. National University of Singapore’s School of Computing

Snore to score, students from the NUS School of Computing were told on Saturday.

The faculty announced in a Facebook post that from the next Academic Year, computing students who get an average of eight hours of rest a day will receive a bonus 0.1 to their Grade Point Average.

“The new initiative aims to encourage students to take care of their well-being as they pursue academic excellence,” it wrote.

Further details on the Student Lull Encouragement Programme (SLEeP) were put up on the school’s website, which added that students will be given a sleep tracker wristband that monitors their sleep patterns.

A third-year Computer Science student Ng Fun Gao even said in an interview that he was looking forward to catching up on his sleep.

“I don’t think I have slept for more than 6 hours since university started, actually I think the last time I had a proper rest was when I was a baby,” he said. “I can’t wait for my ‘panda eyes’ to disappear and to start looking like a normal human being again.”

Brownie points to those who caught the fact that Ng Fun Gao suspiciously sounds like “do not sleep” in Cantonese.