An online petition urging Barack Obama to stand in the French election has attracted more than 42,000 supporters.
Campaign posters reading "Oui, on peut" - a translation of the former US president's popular 2008 campaign slogan, "Yes, we can" - have appeared around Paris.
Mr Obama is not a French citizen and is thus ineligible to run.
But those behind the prank say the point is to highlight the lack of inspirational candidates.
Their message to the candidates, one of the organisers told the BBC, is: "Hey guys, you really don't make us dream."