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Adland pranks Starbucks, and they prank me right back.


….”Ok, you are hereby dubbed to the copyqueen of this project while I go sort something green to wear.” were the last words between me and Jane Goldman a.k.a caffeinegoddess, as I stayed up late to sort out a Starbucksfied theme for Adland, knowing that she’d deliver the perfect press release to cement the prank. It was even said on a public Facebook wall. Man, we’re like so discreet people.

In the middle of the night here (ie; after midnight! So it was April 1) the release went up: Adland joins Starbucks Digital Network, while the site turned green and coffee-stained, and I went to get a few hours of shuteye.

I then spent the entire day receiving high-fives and happy congrats from dear friends, colleagues and PR-contacts, feeling increasingly guilty and having a very hard time keeping a straight face. Some who caught on decided to play the straight guy to my gag, and spread the news even further by tweeting large congrats! Thanks!


The day continued, I spent most of it posting fake news with a completely straight face, and feeling increasingly guilty for foolin’ friends. 🙂 I’m not very good at this.


Quick note about my mom. She’s evil, and I mean that in the best way possible. April 1 is a day when things are never quite right in our house. One year, she had gotten up in the middle of the night and set every clock in house back two hours. The wristwatches, the kitchen wall clock, the alarm clock. In the morning dad rushed off to work, believing he was running late… and a while later he phoned home. “Honey…” he said, sounding very perplexed “I’m here at the office, and it’s so strange, but nobody is here….” Then it dawned on him.

So as the world was falling for this, I wondered if she’d see it. Around three PM she phoned, word had spread, and she asked what was going on. “Have a look at the site, there’s a press release you can read” I said, barely able to contain my giggles. She went silent as she was reading for a while. “Oh honey, this is a terrific opportunity for you, how long has this been in the works.. Why haven’t you said anything, I can’t believe you let them mess with your TV logo like that… [beat]…*gasp* What date is it?”

Gotcha! EPIC! I have never once managed to pull one on her but for a brief moment there she was going for it. WIN!

Quite pleased with myself I was getting ready to pull the prank down, trying to write a proper closure post for the prank during the afternoon energy-dip, when all of a sudden @adland received a tweet from @stephengillett, The Business & Technology Leader, CIO & EVP, Digital Ventures at Starbucks. My jaw dropped, I screendumped and shrieked “Is this for REAL!?” over the adlist mailinglist before it dawned on me, and then giggly adlisters came back with “No, it’s the “yahright” part of the email that gives it away. Man, he got me back!


Both @adambrotman and @stephengillett told me that the release has reached Starbucks and Gillett even got a page about it, as some over at Starbucks were worried I actually was a content provider who broke embargo they were good sports and pretty amused, even tweeting my “Gotcha” and prank-post on to their followers. Gillette offered to a Starbucks-card when I said I owed everyone I might have stressed out a chilling Chai Tea, but we don’t actually have a Starbucks here (yet), so I declined. 🙂


April Fools: No we’re not part of Starbucks Digital Network was now way easy to write, and I could finally remove the straight face I’d been wearing all day. *exhale* Oh, and I finally got my little red TV logo back on twitter and Adland, I had missed it so.

To everyone I had fooled, thanks for being good sports – I owe you all a chilling chai tea. Or a beer, whichever comes first. Except YOU, mom. To you I say “HA HA, that’s for moving my bed to the opposite side of the room while I was sleeping in it when I was 5 and confusing the hell out of me. GOT YOU BACK!”. HAHA!


Thanks to Digital PR for the summary posting about my prank too.

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