Less than a week before the most foolish day of the year in tech (wow, that’s saying something), Microsoft is reportedly getting ahead of the competition by issuing a company-wide directive to not partake in any public-facing April Fool’s Day pranks on Monday.
The Verge reported Wednesday that it had seen a memo written by Microsoft marketing chief Chris Capossela, in which Capossela encouraged teams inside the Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant to “stand down” on trying to amuse the masses.
Capossela said that sometimes the stunts are amusing and sometimes they’re not, but that data reveals limited positive impact. “I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day,” he wrote.
As someone who has compiled roundups of the gags for the past few years, I’m here to tell you they’re almost never worth it. At least my editor backs me up on that. But the pranks keep coming from the likes of T-Mobile, Google, Redfin, REI, Rover and many more companies big and small. The emails started at least a week ago.
Let’s just hope Capossela isn’t pulling the ultimate prank.
Here’s the full internal memo, confirmed by at least two GeekWire sources:
It’s that time of year when tech companies try to show their creativity with April Fools’ Day stunts. Sometimes the outcomes are amusing and sometimes they’re not. Either way, data tells us these stunts have limited positive impact and can actually result in unwanted news cycles.
Considering the headwinds the tech industry is facing today, I’m asking all teams at Microsoft to not do any public-facing April Fools’ Day stunts. I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day.
Please forward to your teams and internal partners to ensure people are aware of the ask to stand down on external April Fools’ Day activities.