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How Tinki.nl´s April Fool prank reached the world

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April Fool prank with a serious message, ánd serious attention

Maybe you have seen us already in television. For example in Canada where Discovery Channel talked about our Dogdrones project. The British newspaper The Sun has also written about the tinki.nl/dogdrones-en initiative in Japanese, Russian, English, Arabic and Italian. But there were also people who were suspicious: Are they serious or is it just an April Fool joke? And now we can finally be honest. Yes it was just an April Fool prank! But let us be honest, what do you prefer to happen? Taking part in an April Fool prank or walking directly in dog poop?

> Read more about the dogdrones

Video: April Fool prank with serious message

 

Seriously, an April Fool prank?

We have thought in the beginning about what will happen, what possible consequences could be and if people will like it. Should it just be a prank or is there any serious message contained? And if yes, how do we make sure not to upset our fans and followers with such an idea? How do we ensure that everybody is happy in the end?

We aimed for the stars with Tinki.nl

After long hours of consideration and thinking about pro’s and con’s, we decided to give it a try. The original thought came up when people discussed in our online community about the implications of dog poo on the streets. There are indeed dog owners that clean up the mess of their dogs. They are also worried and angry about others that do not take the same commitment. Because of that problem we first came up with the idea of the dogdrones namely Watchdog 1 and Patroldog 1. We wanted to create publicity and direct people to a serious problem that affects merely every one of us. The traditional April Fool hoax on April 1 was the perfect opportunity to realize our idea. Within this context we could use an engaging and friendly way to spread the message around the world.

Launch on March 23, 2017

For being successful we needed time for preparation. We already started on March, 23 on our website tinki.nl/dogdrones-en. The two Dogdrones, Watchdog 1 (WD1) and Patroldog 1 (PD1) were first introduced to the world to tackle the dog poo problem. To create validity and trust for our plan we took the regular April Fool prank to the next level. We created press releases and sent them to the press and bloggers. We even registered Dogdrones in the commercial chamber of the Netherlands to create validity. We even worked together with a partner to ensure trust in our operation. The company Space53, an international test center for Drone technology on Twente Airport.

Outcome: Dogdrones was shared in the world

Everyone believed us? Of course not, but we kept the whole story under wraps for nearly an entire week. We covered it up and made sure no one blows it up before April 1. Therefore we also know that a lot of our fans believed us (sorry guys). The biggest challenge was to keep it all under wraps long enough. But we think on one day in the year we can go the extra mile and make a really great April Fool story. Let us be honest, what is worse? An April Fool prank or dog poo? And the longer we kept it under wraps, the more attention and publicity we got. All the way form ‘The Sun’ to websites in Japan and Italy.

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75 pilot registrations for Dogdrones

As part of our April Fool prank we asked people to take part and register themselves as test pilots. Those test pilots were supposed to use drones to tackle the dog poo problem. We finally made it and a lot of people contacted us and registered themselves. We want to thank them all for taking part. We think it is remarkable that so many people took part in this initiative and discussed possibilities to solve the problem. We all have a common goal, to keep cities clean. Every dog owner can contribute.

Dog poo is not a joke

Within the context of our April Fool prank we have seriously reported about the implications of dog poo. It is not just a joke, it leads to serious health problems. This problem still is out there, regardless of our prank. Dog poo contains viruses, bacteria and parasites that are not only harmful for children but also for adults and other dogs. Parasites can live up to years and cause illnesses if dog poo is not disposed properly. We hope that our April Fool prank directs attention to this problem and people will start to tackle this issue.

Technology is ready

For all the people that are sad that Dogdrones will never be reality, the use of drones in several areas is already possible. Drones such as Watchdog 1 and Patroldog 1 are not only a crazy invention but have real potential to be realized soon. Therefore from our part as the dogwebsite Tinki.nl. If there is any party interested to work on this project, we are ready!

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