Sunday, June 16, 2024
CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Insider - The Funniest Companies in the World

CEO Insider

The Funniest Companies in the World


The growing excitement and giddy anticipation around the world is palpable.  April first is just around the corner. The one day each year when individuals and organizations alike have full license to express their sense of humor. 

At Stand-Up Strategist, we have been tracking and evaluating the best corporate April Fools campaigns worldwide for years.  We purposely held back announcing our 2023 rankings until now, in order to amplify exposure and engagement for this year’s campaigns.  

Indeed, the rankings of the Top 23 corporate April Fools campaigns in 2023 have been meticulously compiled, tallied and just recently released.  Why the number 23, you ask?  Well, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, and we believe humor is fundamental.  23 is also a happy number for those steeped in number theory.  But mostly, we just feel that 23 is a funny number.  And to celebrate the coincidence of the top 23 in the year ‘23, we invited a special group of luminary guest judges to help decide the winners.    

Before we delve into the rankings, let’s clarify in no uncertain terms why humor is essential in business, and hence its manifestation via April Fools campaigns. Humor is one of the key expressions of creativity, curiosity, and our ability to probe the absurd – all essential traits of corporate leadership and culture in a world where standing still is not an option. It’s also one of the best ways to connect with any audience, be it customers, communities, or employees. 

To celebrate and showcase the importance of humor, Stand-Up Strategist has been compiling the Top 23 annual rankings of corporate April Fools campaigns since 2018 (suspended in ‘20 and ’21 due to the pandemic) and we have seen noteworthy patterns emerge.  Participation in April foolery is truly global – involving all continents with the notable exception of Antarctica. It spans across diverse industries – with airline, automotive, hi-tech, and consumer goods being the most prominent. And, it often features the CEO/Founder of the company personally – most famously John Legere, former CEO of T-Mobile USA.  Fun fact: Spain and most Latin American countries have their own version of April Fools, ‘Dia de los Inocentes’, celebrated in December.  

To pick the winners, SUS curators and guest judges use the following riveting criteria.  Notice that while the first two measure the attractiveness of campaigns, the latter three assess their impact on key corporate success factors – strategy, brand, and culture: 

Entertainment Value: How universally funny, original and clever is the underlying concept? To what extent does it make you laugh, ponder, and make you want to share it with others? 

Quality of Execution: How well is the underlying concept presented, what is the level of execution, attention to detail and overall campaign quality? 

Opportunistic Absurdity: To what extent does the underlying concept actually capture the seed of a new strategic direction, business idea or potential market offering? 

Brand Relevance:To what extent is the underlying concept consistent with, and can help propel the brand essence and market positioning of the company? 

Cultural Impact:To what extent can the underlying concept serve to unify and align staff around optimal strategy and culture? 

And now for the 2023 winners.   

The final Top 23 rankings feature campaigns from 13 countries, including Norway, India, France, Japan, and the UAE, with the U.S. supplying the most (8). Altogether nine winners are from the Americas region, seven from Asia-Pacific and another seven from Europe, Middle East and Africa, displaying a truly global spread. 

The number one spot is claimed by Solo Stove for its very funny and clever Plume campaign. It reveals how the makers of smokeless fireplaces have realized the error of their ways and created a firepit with extra smoke.   

Coming in second is the new bullsh*t detector from Airthings, which makes sure that you know when someone is full of hot air. 

And rounding out the third spot, Duolingo has teamed up with Peacock to bring viewers “Love Language”, a reality dating show where nobody speaks the same language.  

You can see all top 23 finalists, their humorous campaigns, and our illustrious panel of guest judges here 

Finally, it is worth noting that the SUS rankings have been duly recognized and hailed even by AI, adding further credence to its importance.  Here is an excerpt from a voluminous poem AI was compelled to produce to express its admiration.  As you enjoy its infectious verse, prime yourself and your company to partake in this year’s merriment on April 1st. Consider the stage set for your entrance. May the farce be with you. 

In the realm of jest and playful schemes, 

There’s an organization that shines, it seems. 

Stand-Up Strategist, they proudly declare, 

The masters of laughter, with pranks beyond compare. 

 With nimble wit and clever guile, 

They bring April Fools with a mischievous smile. 

In their hallowed halls, where laughter abounds, 

They craft the rankings, where hilarity resounds. 

So let the pranks be heard, their glory unfold, 

In the rankings they’ve crafted, for the brave and the bold. 

For on April Fools’ Day, we celebrate in jest, 

Thanks to Stand-Up Strategist, the laughter’s zest. 

Written by Gabor George Burt.
Have you read?
The 21st Century’s Biggest Financial Frauds and Controversies.
The World’s Most Valuable Unicorns, 2023.
The World’s Top 10 Highest-Paid Wealth Management Executives.
Highest paid chief executive officers in the United States in 2022.
Highly-Paid Entertainment Chief Executives.
Highest paid health insurance CEOs.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Insider - The Funniest Companies in the World

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Gabor George Burt
Gabor George Burt is the Founder and Director of The Slingshot Group, global expert on business transformation and re-imagining market boundaries, one of the core, original experts of Blue Ocean Strategy.

Gabor George Burt is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Connect with him through LinkedIn. For more information, visit the author’s website.