5 Brands That Take April Fools’ Day Seriously

5 Brands That Take April Fools’ Day Seriously

3 Tips to Improve UX

April Fools’ Day is notoriously rife with gags, pranks, and jokes. As advertisers, this presents an opportunity for brands to showcase themselves in a way that is both relatable and hilarious. Just like the Super Bowl, some brands are regulars when it comes to running whimsical ads on April Fools’ Day. This blog outlines some brands that consistently take this non-serious holiday very seriously, and we’ve provided some insights into why these strategies work.

 Does Google really need to advertise? As of February 2022, an astounding 92% of online searches take place on Google, and with that level of domination, Google (alphabet) doesn’t necessarily need a massive ad campaign to differentiate themselves from the competition. They can, however, spend their advertising dollars on fun & quirky ideas that generate even more brand awareness and engagement. From “Google Nose” to “Treasure Map Mode,” Google has used April Fools’ Day as a platform to make some of their most memorable ads.

Similar to Google, YouTube is by far the biggest player in their field (also owned by Google, go figure). In fact, a recent study found that 90% of internet users accessed YouTube to watch a video online, and the closest competitor was Facebook (Meta) at 60%. Instead of highlighting their new features constantly, YouTube regularly uses their ad budget to make people laugh, which is exemplified in their April Fools’ Day campaigns. 

As the King of Burgers and comedic advertisements, Burger King is another April Fools’ Day regular. Fast food chains are some of the most common advertisers of any industry, but normally these ads are focused on new deals or products. BK’s April Fools’ Day ads play on this trend by launching fake products, such as Whopper toothpaste or the chocolate Whopper (which weirdly looks tasty).

Testimonials have been a popular advertising strategy since the dawn of, well, ads. SodaStream makes a splash in the April Fools’ Day ad scene by promoting fake testimonials from celebrities like Thor “The Mountain” Bjornsson and Scott Kelly.

It’s impossible to talk about ad strategies without mentioning at least one animal-centric ad. Since the days of Nipper the RCA Dog to modern CGI geckos and ducks, animals have been front & center for many ad campaigns. This isn’t just because they’re cute or funny; studies show animals in advertisements increase feelings of emotional connection, ultimately amplifying ad effectiveness. Nevertheless, animals ARE funny, so it only makes sense brands like Petco use April Fools’ Day as an opportunity to make you laugh.

Don’t be fooled by common marketing mistakes,
talk with us today on how we can help elevate your brand.

Bouvier Kelly Q&A: Phillip Yeary

Bouvier Kelly Q&A: Phillip Yeary

Marketing Insider Matt Smith

For this edition of Bouvier Kelly Q&A, we’re talking with our Creative Director, Phillip Yeary. In addition to overseeing our Creative Department, Phillip is also just a cool guy. We discussed everything from his experience in the marketing industry and trending topics to his upbringing in rural Virginia and his favorite musical artists.


BKI: Where did you grow up?

Phillip: I grew up in the mountains of Virginia. A little coal mining town in Coeburn, Virginia.

BKI: So growing up in the foothills of Appalachia, how do you think that has impacted your life?

Phillip: I lived there until I was a teenager. That’s a good question. You know, I had a small-town mentality, kind of underdog/challenger type sort of baked into my psyche. It was small, less than 2000 people. So you kinda know everybody. Everybody’s families have been there for generations. 

BKI: So was your family in the coal mining industry?

Phillip: Well, not my immediate family, but yeah, my mom’s dad was a coal miner and some uncles.

BKI: How did you end up in Greensboro?

Phillip: There was a big coal strike in the eighties, and the economy was just dead and my mom packed her bags and said she was taking the kids. And yeah, my dad showed up about two weeks later.

BKI:  Do you recall much of the coal strike and that situation?

Phillip: I remember as a kid, it was people like mine in the streets of, uh, these little towns throwing out these little spiked nails that have been welded together like this, covering the roads so the trucks couldn’t go. You know, whatever national news channels, all of a sudden they were in this little town. It was bizarre.

BKI: What was it like growing up surrounded by that?

Phillip: I had no idea, really what was going on. From an economic standpoint, I had no idea that it was as severe and impacting the entire country.

BKI: Can you tell me a little about your family now?

Phillip: I have two boys, both about to age up. Both October birthdays, 12 and 14, six and eighth grade, middle schoolers. Good kids. Sports. My wife’s name is Jill. She’s an interior designer, so we’re both in the creative industry.

BKI: Is that how you guys met?

Phillip: We actually attended the same high school. We had similar friends, you know, same or overlapping circles of friends, probably more like it. We knew each other then, but we started dating later on in college.

BKI: What are some of your main hobbies?

Phillip: I love golf, tennis, art, just being outside, spending time with family. Those are really my hobbies outside of work.

BKI: What did you want to be growing up?

Phillip: As a kid, we fished a lot. And so I just wanted to be a fisherman. I don’t know some weird dream, but now I can’t stand to fish. Really very boring. Too static, but I loved it. Loved it immensely growing up and did it all the time. I mean, Not much to do. Hanging out in the woods and playing. We spent a lot of time dipping lines in the water somewhere. But early on, I could always draw pretty well, so art was always a potential career path.

BKI: Was that something you initially started out doing in college?

Phillip: Yeah doing fine art and design, and that just shifted from fine art to more commercial art design.

BKI: So what made you shift from fine art to more commercial?

Phillip: Realizing I didn’t have the chops to be a fine artist. It’s interesting, just like anything you might be pretty good in a small pool of people, and then you get to college where everybody is equally talented or more talented. I realized I really didn’t have the discipline and the skillset really to pursue it. This design was a little bit more attainable.

BKI: And how’d you get your start in the industry?

Phillip: An internship. I worked at a company that was called DQ. It was an in-house agency for Cone Mills, one of the textile companies here in town.

BKI: What are some of your favorite aspects of the job?

Phillip: Just having to be creative all the time. Having to come up with ideas. Idea generation. I love that. I love just keeping up trend-wise, with what’s going on, with what’s happening. And I guess I love the idea of art and business overlapping. I enjoy learning about different types of businesses, obscure types of businesses or products. Things that exist that you don’t know about unless you’re involved in that specific industry, you’d never even know it now it’s there. And so learning about that, I really enjoy that. I love meeting people that are involved with those types of companies. Fulfillment wise, why I enjoy this type of job is it is very service-oriented.  You feel like you’re helping. You know, oftentimes it’s you know a person, or you might know the owner of a company, or it’s a marketing department. You feel like you’re really making their reality a little easier, helping them achieve whatever success they’re chasing.

BKI: You mentioned keeping up with trends is one of your favorite aspects, but what are some trends that you’ve noticed that you think will remain integral to your position going forward?

Phillip: That’s a difficult question. The power of a brand and its image and voice kind of transcends whatever technology is out there, whatever medium it may get displayed in.

There are brands that are not just about their product. That sort of represents a higher ideal. I think you see brands that are attached to bigger causes. Patagonia, Nike. Brands like that. 

Yes, they make wonderful, great, innovative products, but it’s also this idea that it’s just part of the culture we live in. And you see smaller brands trying to emulate that kind of stuff all the time.

From a marketing perspective, how can you help a brand do that with smaller-scale budgets? These other companies, they can throw millions and millions of dollars at it, and you know, we’re trying to figure it out on a shoestring. That’s what I’ve noticed on a subconscious level. It’s funny you ask a question and that really is what it kind of all points towards. Brands that have similar stances that you feel comfortable wearing their logo.

BKI: Do you think a brand can authentically do take a stance on an issue? Do you think the brands really care about the message they’re promoting or do they do it because they see this growing trend that people want them to take these stances?

Phillip: I mean, it’s probably both. Like anything when it first initiates, there’s probably a purity to it.

BKI: Having been in this industry for quite some time, what are some aspects of the job has changed pretty dramatically?

Phillip: Consolidation. There used to be just bigger teams, multiple art directors working on the same project. That still happens at larger agencies. Just with an agency of our scale, your responsibilities range and vary. Exploration a lot of times falls on one person to look at it from three different perspectives; to make sure we have something presentable.

BKI: Why do you think that is?

Phillip: Money. Budgets. When I first started in 2000. The year 2000—it was the future. That was kind of like the end of where marketing and advertising campaigns had these giant budgets.

So, 9/11 happened, the whole economy just went south big time, so companies were very cautious when they started spending money again. 

Whenever their markets kind of started opening back up, they tightened up, and of course agencies had to tighten up. That just meant people got laid off. So there were fewer people still doing seemingly the same amount of work. Everybody had to like up their hustle. Every industry is like that, right? Time goes by and you figure out, “Well trim the fat.” You become leaner,  more productive. That’s well and good, but long-term, it kind of squashes collaboration. But yeah, it was just different. 

That’s ultimately what it was: the size of budgets got smaller and smaller. Teams just got smaller. Your relationships with clients maybe improved though, because then you’ve actually built a relationship with the person responsible for the budgets for whatever work was being created, whereas before there was this hierarchy. All these layers of people and processes before you got the work. So it was filtered. The information you got was filtered. But you know, in a lot of ways it was probably filtered in a good way, right? Yeah. Cause you get more and more people looking at it and letting you know, “Here’s the real focus. Here’s what it really needs to work.” Versus just sitting right across the table, talking to the owner of some big company, and he or she is saying they want to do this. So you just start spitballing it. Sometimes strategy can get a little weaker that way. 

That’s just my experience. You know, the agencies I worked at before, you would never need a team. And so you work as hard as you could on something and your idea may be pretty good, but the person in the little cube next to you, um, they’re working just as hard, harder, maybe not as hard. And they come up with ideas that are better or weaker or stronger. There was collaboration. There was competition within the agency. If you look around, you don’t have that here. I don’t know if that ultimately leads to the best work. I guess we all have pretty defined roles. You start thumbing through some of this stuff and you know, you look at some of this work and why is it so good? Is it because it’s just a small, tight team of brilliant, smart, strategic, people working on it? Or is it, you know, ‘cause it’s coming from the bigger agencies where the team is competitive. The talent pool is just always kind of being churned.

BKI: Getting over to some less serious questions. What are your favorite movies or TV shows?

Phillip: I’m a sci-fi kind of person. So I love those types of movies. It’d be hard for me to pick out a favorite movie. I also love comedy. Big Lebowski is probably one of my all-time favorites. I love all the Coen Brother stuff anyway. Back to the Future is one of my favorite movies. Let’s see. I mean, I was a kid in the eighties. Yeah. So Star Wars was just kind of part of my childhood.

So I loved that. I also liked things like The Matrix. I don’t know, I probably read more than I watch. Sci-fi short stories, stuff like that.

BKI: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Phillip: Asimov. I just comb the the internet for short stories. I don’t even know who I’m reading half the time.

BKI: Do you prefer shows to movies?

Phillip: Probably movies. The episodic show, they just suck you in. And next thing you know, you’re up ‘til the wee hours of the night. And then, you know, you’re doing it again the next night. So I can’t wait to watch the next episode. I like it, but at the same time, hate it. I get mad at myself. I should invest that time, playing guitar, piano, learning something. I should be painting. I should be drawing. Yeah. But I know it’s I like to think of it as like reading without the effort, you know? Man, it’s just so different. I mean, my kids are old now, but it’s like there’s no time. It’s like all your time, free time as a parent is not there. Or your free time is at 10 o’clock at night; from 10 till when you go to sleep. Not a lot you can do.

BKI: You mentioned you played guitar and piano?

Phillip: I’ve been playing guitar since I was 15, and I just started playing piano this year.

BKI: Wow, are you taking lessons?

Phillip:  No, I use just YouTube, or mostly transposing what I know from the guitar, trying to figure it out. I’m not very good, but somebody gave my wife a piano, brought it home, tuned it up, and I mess around with that.

BKI:  Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Phillip: I like lots of different genres. Rock-wise, I’m a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan. Their guitarist is one of my favorite guitarists, John Frusciante. I mean, I’m kind of a student of music. I’m a big Beatles fan. Beach Boys. Rolling stones, all that kind of classic rock and pop. I love all that. Love all the heavy seventies. Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, that sort of stuff. I was a teenager during the grunge era, right?

I’m sure all generations you look at what’s going on and what’s popular now and think, “Nah, music used to be way better.” I think if you listen to the right kind of stuff, every genre, there are people doing it that have soul. People who truly have talent and put their heart into it, you know, the product is usually something that has a certain character to it.

BKI: And if you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Phillip: Sushi.

BKI: If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would you choose?

Phillip: My mom.

4 PR Trends To Monitor Heading into 2022

4 PR Trends To Monitor Heading into 2022

Search Engine Optimization

Because public relations is continuously evolving, it’s more important than ever to stay up-to-date on the latest industry topics, technologies, and trends. Although media relations and traditional PR content creation continue to play a crucial role in our field, modern PR professionals will be expected to handle a much wider range of responsibilities than in previous years. In fact, a recent Muckrack survey found that 73% of PR pros don’t think the term “public relations” as it’s defined today will describe the work they’re doing in five years.

In preparation for the inevitable changes in the PR industry over the next few years, we’ve outlined four trends to monitor as we move into 2022.


1. It’s all about the numbers

As public relations and marketing departments become increasingly intertwined, PR professionals will start heavily relying on data and analytics for their communications efforts. Public relations has always been about storytelling, and in order to create compelling stories and narratives, your PR campaigns will have to be driven by data.

By gathering data on important KPIs like SEO improvement, social media advertising, or earned media, you can justify your previous decisions and inform your future PR efforts. This subsequently leads to security in terms of budgeting for PR, as companies can see tangible evidence that your outreach led to traffic, conversions, leads, and ultimately sales.


2. Personalized Pitching

A recent study found that 96% of PR professionals say individual emails are the most effective channel for pitching journalists. This statistic suggests the days of incessantly sending out pitches and mass emailing are long gone, and the future of pitching is all about personalization for the journalist you’re contacting.

Reporters receive tons of pitches a day, so you have to discover ways to cut through the noise. Regardless of how relevant or timely a pitch is, you’ll improve your hit rate by cultivating relationships with journalists and learning their areas of expertise.


3. The impact of Influencers

Social media usage has grown exponentially in recent years, and it shows no sign of slowing down. With over half of the world’s population on social media platforms, PR professionals have had to adapt rapidly to reach people in this new landscape, and one of the more popular trends is influencer marketing. For instance, current industry forecasts predict US influencer marketing spending will rise by 33.6% in 2021 to $3.69 billion!

Influencers, as the name would suggest, are anyone with a large following on social media, but it’s not just massive influencers with millions of followers like the Kardashians. Recently, brands have begun utilizing micro and nano-influencers, which are influencers with smaller followings in niche markets. This level of influencer actually experiences higher levels of engagement than many of the mega-celebrity influencers, which reinforces the idea that quality is more important than quantity in regards to ROI on social media.


4. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will be a major focus

As many as 70% of consumers want brands to take a stand on social and political issues, which is a 66% increase from 2017.  The PR industry is evolving alongside the social climate, so establishing core values for a client will be a priority going forward. In light of recent social movements, consumers expect companies to take authentic stances on certain social issues, and prominent brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Nike, and AirBNB have led the charge on this matter.

Similarly, companies that lack clear policies on diversity and inclusion are at risk of falling behind their competitors. The increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion is not only necessary from an equitability standpoint, but it also increases profitability and overall performance. A McKinsey study found that businesses who embrace diversity experience a 19% increase in revenue and a 35% performance advantage.


The PR field is certainly different than it was in 2000, and it will change even more by 2025. Understanding these industry trends will prepare you for what’s to come and enhance your PR strategies in the next year.

A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

Did you know more than 3.5 BILLION searches are made every single day on Google? Google is in most cases, the front page of the internet, and people use the website to find exactly what they need to know at a moment’s notice. This reason is why businesses need to focus on Search Engine Optimization so that they don’t get lost in the crowd of nearly 3.5 Billion web pages.

How does Search Engine Optimization Work? 

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use undercover bots or spiders to crawl the web, saving information from every published page and adding them into an index. Search Engines use algorithms to analyze the web pages in the index, then rank them based on hundreds of factors or signals, to decide which order the pages should show up in thesearch results for a relevant search query.

Websites are ranked based on the quality of the site’s content, strength, and authority of backlinks, user experience, and much more. That is why it is important to have a strong content marketing plan, and research keywords to optimize content for search engine optimization (SEO).  

The algorithms search engines use are designed to produce relevant, authoritative pages, and provide users with a valuable search experience. By optimizing the content on your website with the previously mentioned factors in mind, you can improve how your website and its pages rank in the search results.

3 Fixes to Improve Search Engine Optimization?

1. Use compelling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Title Tags are clickable headlines that appear in search results and are exceptionally crucial from an SEO perspective.

Google says, “Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. IT’s often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it’s important to use high-quality titles on your web pages.”

Search engines will usually show 50-60 characters of a page’s title and will display the full title if you keep the title tag under the 60 character threshold.

Title Tag Best Practices

  • Include Target Keywords
  • Write titles that match the user’s search intent
  • Do not use duplicate title tags on your website
  • Try not to stuff the title with keywords
  • Describe the content, but keep it concise

Meta descriptions are the second most important tags to include on your page when it comes to search engine optimization. Meta Descriptions are short explanations of a page that shows up on the SERP and is shown under the title tag.

While meta descriptions do not directly impact your site’s performance in search rankings, they help persuade users to click through to your website.

Typically, meta descriptions are shorter than 160 characters. When writing a meta description, it is best to provide a brief accurate summary of the content that will persuade users to click to view the content.


Meta Tag


Meta Tag Best Practices

  • Write unique meta descriptions for each page of your website
  • Include keywords from your content
  • Match search intent
  • Provide a short but accurate summary of the content of the pages

2. Optimize the Images on Your Website

Images are critically important for improving the user experience of visitors to your website. When adding content to your website, you probably meticulously look for the perfect image to improve your blog posts, product pages, and the other pages on your website. You should spend just as much if not more time optimizing the images on your site.

3 ways to optimize site images

  • Select the best file format
    When optimizing the images on your website it is important to consider the file type of the images. This is because the site load speed is vital to the success of your search engine optimization. Typically, .JPEG images have smaller file sizes than .PNG images and will help the site load faster. However, if your image includes text, the .PNG images tend to have better quality.
  • Compress your images
    It is crucial that you compress your images to also help with site speed. The larger the size of the file, the longer it will take for the page to load. Make sure to compress your images before uploading them to your site.
  • Use Alt-Text for Images
    Alt-text is a description of the images on your website that improves web accessibility and helps crawlers better understand the images. If someone who is visually impaired were to access your site, alt-text can describe the image to them audibly. Furthermore, web crawlers can only crawl text-based information on your website, so an alt text description that includes keywords without keyword stuffing will help improve your ranking on the SERP.

 3.  Optimize Your Page Speed

When your website takes too long to load, it will negatively impact your user experience and your rankings will plummet.

There are plenty of free tools to use to test your site speed, my preference is GTMetrix.

As mentioned previously, one step you can take to improve site speed is to compress images and choose the right image file type.

Below are some site speed optimization tips

  • Enable Browser Caching
  • Delete useless plugins
  • Reduce server response time
  • Eliminate redirects when possible
  • Minimize CSS and JavaScript files

If you are not satisfied with the amount of traffic or the quality of visitors to your page, you should consider performing a site audit to determine opportunities for better search rankings. It is important to stay on top of necessary adjustments to ensure you stay on the first page of the search engine ranking page, as 95% of users never make it to the second page.

If you need help boosting your site’s search engine optimization, reach out to Bouvier Kelly CEO, Pete Parsells at pparsells@bouvierkelly.com, to learn how we can help you rank higher in the search rankings.

Marketing Insider: Matt Smith

Marketing Insider: Matt Smith

Marketing Insider Matt Smith

For this edition of Marketing Insider, we’re talking with our Digital Media Art Director, Matt Smith. In addition to the web and digital design he does, he is also our in-house video editor. We talked through some of the differences in marketing videos versus other kinds, the production process and the value of video for brands.


Bouvier Kelly: Let’s start by getting some background information. How did you get into videography?

Matt: I was fortunate to go to a high school that had a broadcast program, so I utilized their cameras, computers, and editing suites and spent all my free time diving into videography and the production of the school’s tv station. From there, I learned a lot of non-linear editing, often using VHS or other traditional editing techniques, and over time taught myself a lot of new things. Fast forward to college, I went to school for computer animation and was able to grow my skillset in film making, animation and motion graphics. When I began working at a marketing agency, I got to mesh my experiences with both animation and videography to create content for brands.

BKI: That’s awesome and a perfect segue to the next question: How are marketing videos different from other types of videos? 

Matt: All videography tells a story, but with marketing there is a lot of thought behind which way is the best way to tell a story to a specific target audience. Some groups may be more interested in an interview style for web, while others are more interested in a commercial format for broadcasting. Producing content that will best serve a brand’s goals is the main difference. The content needs to fit the brand’s style and also be unique enough to get clicks, views or some sort of engagement.

BKI: What does your research process look like when creating a video for a brand/client and what information do you need from them?

Matt: Typically, we go ahead and get the client’s logo and brand guide. Then we look through the client’s previous content to make sure any content we create is cohesive with their reputation and what they are known for. We also look at current trends for their industry in video and animation. Once we gather enough initial research, we begin brainstorming ideas. In this step it can be difficult to verbally explain a video plan to clients, so we create storyboards and style frames to describe what will happen and how it will look. It is important that this process is very detail-oriented, because if we are thorough in our pre-production work, the production and post-production work is efficient in both time and cost.

BKI: How fast is the turnaround time for making a video and what elements can affect it?

Matt: It all comes down to length and complexity. If you would like to create a couple of 30 second videos that include static graphics, footage and simple animated motion graphics that could be done in a week or two. On the other hand, if you’d like several two to three-minute videos produced for a commercial or YouTube channel with plenty of complex motion graphics and multi-camera footage that could take up to a month or longer. Something that is very important when doing a film shoot is making sure you have the right crew and you’re getting all the necessary shots, because once you get into the edit, it’s quite expensive to do a re-shoot and creates huge delays if you have to wait on additional assets. That comes back full circle to good planning in the pre-production stage and making sure you get more shots than you need while filming. When you have all the pieces to the puzzle, it’s a lot faster to assemble it.

BKI: Overall, what makes a good, high-quality video?

Matt: The concept is important, but budget is often the key. Shooting in 4K, getting drone footage, hiring actors and voice actors, good equipment to have on set, CGI assets (3D computer-generated-Imagery), paying for extra time in the concepting phase, the list goes on. But the larger the budget, the more some of these high-quality elements can be incorporated.

BKI: The cost of producing a video has some businesses questioning if it is worth it, but many marketing strategists see it as a must have. What makes a marketing video so valuable?

Matt: Brands can get so much use out of a single marketing video when it’s done right. A single video can be a commercial, a social media post, a digital sign, website content, etc. Plus, once you have all those video assets, they can be repurposed for other videos or elements of your campaign. That single investment has a lot of value and creates so many different avenues for a brand.

Learn more about the video production process or check out our YouTube channel to see some samples of our work.

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