Business means business, fooling around means fooling around, but on April Fools Day, one out of four Americans are willing to take their shenanigans to work. That’s one of the business-related takeaways from a survey of America’s only all-mobile market research panel. We collected responses from 300 panelists 17 and older about how they mark the annual day in which we all get license (well, more license than usual) to play pranks and tell fibs. Here’s part of what they told us:
- 69% of respondents said they typically indulge in April Fools foolery
- 25% said they carry their hijinks into the workplace
- 29.3% of men report they’ll be April Fooling in the workplace; for women, it was 20.7%.
- 36.3% of Millennials intend to play workplace April Fools pranks
- Among Gen Xers, 23.4% said they’ll be pranking at work
21.8% of those who plan to play pranks said they’ll target colleagues, but colleagues were second only to parents (19.8%) as the people least likely to be pranked. Friends (53%) and significant others (46%) have the most reason to be on guard against trickery.
Hispanics were the ethnic group that reported the most enthusiasm for April Fools Day pranks – 76.7% said they plan to participate, compared to 61% of Caucasians and 60% of African Americans. But Hispanics were slightly below the national average when it came to taking the festivities into the workplace – 23.3% intend pranks there, as do 26.2% of Caucasians and 20% of African Americans.
The negative consequences tricksters can suffer when they go too far or prank the wrong person indicate a sense of propriety, or at least a sense of limits, when it comes to the workplace. 45.3% of all respondents said they’d experienced some kind of unpleasant blowback for tricks they’d played – but only 2.7% said that they’d suffered a “professional reprimand” for taking liberties on April Fools Day. That was the fewest among six possible consequences respondents were asked to choose among.
What type of businesses benefit from people looking to pull a prank on April Fools Day? Retailers might notch some extra sales from the 17.7% of respondents who said they’d be deploying whoopee cushions and other gag items that make embarrassing noises. And the market for fake vermin could see an uptick: 21.3% of respondents said they plan to unnerve unsuspecting victims with toy bugs, rodents, snakes and such.
Plastic wrap, duct tape, baking soda, ramen noodles, food dye and, of course, toilet paper, are other consumer items our respondents said they’ve deployed (or had used against them) on April Fools Day. But we’ll get into that tomorrow when the MFour blog will unveil further revelations about what happens when Americans turn into April Fools.