Did you get duped by a brand this April Fools' Day? If so, don’t feel too bad about it. The joke might be on them.
If you’re the type of Internet user who pays attention to pranks and puppies, you’ll have noticed that a lot of companies went all-in on the “fake products for pets” theme. Unfortunately for them, a lot of these products actually exist.
Dog cell phone
T-Mobile introduced a (fake), $5-a-month plan for the non-human members of the family. The telecommunications company made a pitch for some inter-species brand loyalty with its un-commercial for Pets Unleashed. A voiceover tells us: “Your carrier hates puppies. So *bleep* them and switch to T-Mobile where your pet can get their paws on the devices they’ve been begging for.”
The joke here is that pets can’t use phones. Your dog can’t download a virtual fetch app, your cat can’t Tinder, and your horse (thankfully) can’t unabashedly watch zebra porn. Har, har, good one, T-Mobile.
But pet cell phones were less of a joke when it was considered an almost-trend by Engadget back in 2004. From “We smell a trend: The PetsCell cellphone for dogs”:
“PetsMobility have a new cellphone for animals out called the PetsCell that you attach to one of their paws and that automatically answers when you call them up.”
In 2007, ohgizmo.com wrote about a similar project from PetsMobility:
“It’s made to be worn on the animal’s collar so of course it doesn’t have any buttons for dialing but at the same time is still pretty functional.”
Coolest-gadgets.com also wrote about the cell phone, at around the same time:
“The PetsCell is a fully waterpoof voice enabled mobile phone that you attach to your dogs collar.”
PetsMobility doesn’t appear to have made it as a company, (petsmobility.com is now, sadly, defunct,) so we’re left with a mystery. At least we can still use cell phones to remote control our dogs:
This year, Hunter Boots’ joke was that they would design a line of rain boots for dogs:
This hardly qualifies as a joke. Anyone on social media knows how often dogs wear boots:
— Anthony Baker (@Define_NY) February 8, 2014
In a commercial for its “dog on a stick” product, Petco says the faux product is a “revolutionary selfie-stick for dogs.”
Except GoPro already sells harnesses for your dogs that attach to cameras and let them snap shots of their doggie habitats.
Turn that around and, voila, dog selfie stick! Plus, this videos shows that if you strategically place a GoPro by a dog, the selfies take themselves.
So step it up, pranksters. Or tone it down, real life.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.