The American self-storage company unveiled the next generation of self-storage technology with the new AI-powered “Howie,” the first-ever Smart Storage Smart Bot. The video launched on Youtube quickly went viral gaining over 500,000 views.

The video features an adorable Robot named “Howie” which bears a striking resemblance to the character from “Wall-E”. Each customer has a Howie Smart Storage Smart Bot as an on-demand self-storage valet and loving companion, standing by until called via a mobile app. Leveraging a built-in AI, voice and face recognition, navigation systems and Advanced Packaging Analytic, Howie will navigate to a customer’s home to box up and transport belongings to and from the customer’s storage unit.

The prank included details about the robots’ features, including the ability to carry a maximum load of 180 pounds. Howie was supposed to be able to grasp and transport objects by opening and closing “hands” via elastic actuators in its torso. In addition, HowieVision surveillance technology allowed tenants to view live, high-definition footage of their units.

The website mentions the specifications of Howie which include – AI powered by machine learning algorithms, two quad-core 2.9 GHz processors, each with 12GB DDR4 RAM, advanced Packaging Analytics and ‘HowieVision™’ with a 24/7 1080p HD live stream video at 60 fps.

While pop-fiction and media coverage paint a negative tone over AI, the video shows “Howie” as an innocent sidekick willing to do all it takes to help one move, no matter how difficult using duct tape might get.

Each year, Stand-Up Strategist selects, ranks, and celebrates the best corporate April Fools campaigns worldwide – based on their potential to impact corporate strategy and culture.

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Ranking Criteria

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 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?