With the coronavirus pandemic causing mass sickness, death, and economic catastrophe around the world, it’s safe to say that April Fools’ should be … skipped this year.
Google seems to agree. Business Insider has obtained a company email declaring Google’s infamous April Fools’ Day pranks officially canceled.
“Under normal circumstances April Fool’s [sic] is a Google tradition and a time to celebrate what makes us an unconventional company,” Google Head of Marketing Lorraine Twohill wrote in an internal email. “This year, we’re going to take the year off from that tradition out of respect for all those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one,” she wrote.
Twohill’s email was sent to company managers in an effort to not only announce the cancelation of the company’s bigger April Fools’ pranks but to shut down work on any smaller joke projects within specific teams. Google usually goes all out on April 1, with numerous pranks across its many products.
So far, more than half of a million people have been confirmed to have coronavirus globally. Tens of thousands of people have died. The U.S. has just surpassed China as the country with the most confirmed cases. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their bills.
Brands would be wise to read the room, follow Google’s lead, and cancel whatever April Fools’ pranks they had in store. Or at least postpone them until next year.
If you absolutely must get your corny tech company April Fools’ fix, check out some of the best and worst pranks from last year.