The prank of pranks…
On the morning of April 1, 2016, the New Jersey Devils did the unthinkable to their fans... They changed their name and became the Angels. The day began with a harmless prank video on the team president that accidentally revealed the name. This coincidental information caused quite the stir amongst fans. The comments started almost immediately. Was this a new youth team? Maybe a new NWHL club? And then someone said the unthinkable; could the Devils change their name to the Angels? An hour later, as curiosity grew to panic, Devils president Hugh Weber confirmed the news. The Devils were now the Angels, a move to make the team more family-friendly. The announcement was complete with social and web assets. Adam Henrique tweeted an image of his new Angels jersey. Employees spread the news online. The #AngelsAreReal hashtag was soon trending as inquiries from reporters and fans flooded team headquarters. In the span of 12 hours, the Devils’ Twitter feed garnered 1.2 million impressions, while Facebook had over 18,000 likes and Instagram nearly 2,000 comments. And then it was over. At midnight, the Angels disappeared and the familiar Devils logo was back. But a new April Fools’ legend had been born. Bootleg Angels merchandise was sold online and headlines across the country championed the Devils as the winners of April Fools’ Day.
Will we ever see the New Jersey Angels again? Don’t be fooled. Angels are real.
This video was originally launched as our "primary" prank, but observant fans quickly noticed the subtle clues we hid inside the video.
Because anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Not only did we decide to change the team name, but we decided to re-invent the brand from the ground up and create every element that would possible trick someone into believe that this was real.
Key Images for media
Social Media Support
And, all this was done in under 24 hours with 3 designers, 1 social media coordinator and 1 web developer. A clear vision, clear action plan, and clear deliverable list made the impossible possible.