Volkswagen fooled the world with a press release announcing that its US operations would be changing its name to ‘Voltswagen’.
On April Fools’ Day and social media was flooded with memes, pranks and hoaxes. Joining in the fun were several startups and companies that come up with innovative ways to tickle everyone’s funnybones.
For instance, Ola co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal announced through a video message that the company was offering a new product to its users — an electric flying car. This flying car, called Ola Air Pro, has a dedicated website that was also accepting bookings. While it was clear to many that this was an April Fools’ Day hoax, some users were in two minds.
Excited to unveil the world’s first and only fully autonomous electric flying car. The Ola AirPro. Ab har family bharegi udaan. Test flights now at https://t.co/UbwKCwikg1#OlaAirPro#TheFutureIsHere@Olacabs@OlaElectricpic.twitter.com/dy31ZS8FQ8
– Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) April 1, 2021
Pritish Nandy, journalist and filmmaker, said, “Fantastic is the right word for this. Unless of course, it’s an April Fool day prank.”
Fantastic is the right word for this. Unless of course it’s a April Fool day prank.
– Pritish Nandy (@PritishNandy) April 1, 2021
Chetan Bhagat was quick to identify the prank and wrote, “Superb, can I open the windows while up there? I’d love some fresh air. Oh, and prime play too – bina music ke mazaa nahi aayega.”
Superb, can I open the windows while up there? I’d love some fresh air. Oh, and prime play too – bina music ke mazaa nahi aayega.
– Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) April 1, 2021
Many, however, felt that the announcement was a pathbreaking scientific development.
Is this for real
– Nishtha Sethi (@nsnsethi) April 1, 2021
“What is the cost of this beast? What is the logic of har family bharegi udaan? Can a common man afford this? But it’s a good concept for ambulances and law enforcing agencies,” another commented.
What is the cost of this beast? What is the logic of Har Family Bharegi Udaan. Can a common man afford this? But its a good concept for Ambulances and law enforcing agencies
– Achyut Warlikar (@AWarlikar) April 1, 2021
Just like Ola, Flipkart too decided to have some fun with customers by announcing that the online shopping platform would now accept Bitcoin. It is all the rage now and one cannot blame Flipkart for joining the bandwagon and accepting the cryptocurrency as payment. At least, this was what many social media users thought.
The future is here. We now accept Bitcoin as a convenient mode of payment. Update your app now. pic.twitter.com/l3MlY2qwRd
– Flipkart (@Flipkart) March 31, 2021
Just three hours later, Flipkart announced that it was a prank. Reacting to the tweet, Nischal, Founder, CEO of WazirXIndia: Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Exchange in India, commented, “Obviously, an April Fool’s tweet. However, what’s not obvious is that Flipkart just made millions of more Indians aware and curious about Bitcoin. Thanks for helping grow the crypto ecosystem in India.”
Obviously an April Fool’s tweet.
However, what’s not obvious is that Flipkart just made millions more Indians aware and curious about #Bitcoin
– Nischal (WazirX) @NischalShetty) March 31, 2021
Others echoed a similar sentiment and said that this could very well be the future.
– Ashwani Singh (@twashwani) April 1, 2021
Today’s joke is tomorrow’s future. https://t.co/LV05o0ZBEv
– CoinDCX: India’s Largest Cryptocurrency Exchange (@CoinDCX) March 31, 2021
But the winner of the April Fools’ Day prank fest has to be Volkswagen. The carmaker fooled the world with a press release announcing that its US operations would be changing its name to ‘Voltswagen’. The name change is a result of the company moving towards the manufacture of electric vehicles, the release said.
We know, 66 is an unusual age to change your name, but we’ve always been young at heart. Introducing Voltswagen. Similar to Volkswagen, but with a renewed focus on electric driving. Starting with our all-new, all-electric SUV the ID.4 – available today. #Voltswagen#ID4pic.twitter.com/pKQKlZDCQ7
– Volkswagen (@VW) March 30, 2021
Not many were happy with the development. “This is a bad idea. Why not just make a sub-brand called Voltswagen for low-end EVs and keep the Volkswagen name and brand. “Don’t lose your identity over electrification!” a user wrote.
@VW This is a bad idea. Why not just make a sub-brand called Voltswagen for low-end EVs and keep the Volkswagen name and brand. Kinda like the Jetta brand in the Chinese market. Don’t lose your identity over electrification!
– Michael Owens (@imichael_owens) March 30, 2021
Following widespread reportage on the development, Volkswagen had to announce that it was just a harmless prank.