Commentary

Product or prank?

April Fool’s jokes strike again

As the saying goes, any publicity is good publicity. And when it comes to April 1, companies are putting this mantra to work.

Captain Morgan Taco RumOn March 31, Diageo announced an extension of its Captain Morgan rum brand with a new Taco flavor. Although the industry has come across odd-flavored spirits in the past (think dill pickle and cookie dough flavored vodkas), it hasn’t come across a taco cocktail with a shredded cheese rimmer. In the product release, Diageo says that this “taco-tini” looks to overtake the popularity of Margaritas this summer. While this cheese-infused cocktail likely gave the product away as an April Fool’s joke, other product launches were a little more difficult to debunk.

Caribou ClearFor instance, Caribou Coffee Co. issued a press release on March 31 announcing its new Clear Coffee, which is a proprietary new coffee blend that removes all color while retaining the flavor of the coffee. In the release, Chief Executive Officer Mike Tattersfield said: “I can't reveal much, but I can say that we were able to combine our proprietary hydrostatic reverse osmosis with an inverted ice filtration system. This allowed us to isolate the coffee oils from the coffee color." Furthermore, the coffeehouse announced plans to install its proprietary filtering technology in brewing machines in stores nationwide next month.

Caribou also posted the news to its Facebook page and, as a result, received more than 2,300 likes and 500 comments in less than a day. Although the majority of fans called the product out as an early April Fool’s prank, many fans likened the new coffee innovation to Crystal Pepsi, thereby trusting it as an honest new product introduction.

Water to WineEven earlier in March, wine entrepreneurs Kevin Boyer and Philip James of CustomVine debuted the Miracle Machine that essentially turns water into wine. Consumers and the press were so excited by the launch that in less than two weeks the Miracle Machine video went viral with more than 500 million media impressions and 200,000 views; nearly 600 media outlets around the world covered the story; 6,000 people tweeted about it; and 7,000 people signed up for a potential crowd-funding platform to invest in the faux machine, it reported. The company eventually came clean and announced that the machine is actually just a piece of wood. Instead of “fooling” people for the April 1 holiday, the company developed the ploy as a pro-bono campaign to support not-for-profit Wine to Water, an organization that provides people around the world with access to clean water.

Companies have proven year after year that these publicity stunts have the ability to capture the attention of consumers and the media alike. In the case of April Fool’s marketing ploys, is it better to be hilariously fake or deceptively false? And once consumers have determined the legitimacy of the announcement, how much will sales be impacted? Only the numbers will tell.

 Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Beverage Industry.  

Recent Articles by Stephanie Cernivec

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

How beer brands are using social media to connect with consumers

Social media has become a buzzword for not just American consumers but also the business environment. Companies are turning to various social media channels to create brand awareness or possibly boost retail sales. Beer brands also are turning to social media to make their stories heard. Brand Chorus, a division of New York-based TippingGardner, conducted a Beer StoryScore Index for Beverage Industry. StoryScore is a quantitative measure of a brand’s storytelling through social management based on creativity, strategy and personality.

Click here to view infographic in PDF format.

2/18/15 2:00 pm EST

A Healthy Future: Analyzing the latest health and wellness trends in the beverage market

The beverage marketplace continues to evolve to meet new trends and regulations. Our expert speakers will share with you their insight on what health and wellness topics will be paramount for the future success in the beverage industry.

Podcasts

Gert van Manen, president of iTi Tropicals Inc., shares his insights on the U.S. coconut water market. Citing research from Krueger Food Laboratories, he also supplies information highlighting the difference between products that declare their added sugars and those that do not.

Beverage Industry Magazine

BI March 2015

2015 March

The March 2015 Beverage Industry includes a cover story on Lagunitas Brewing Co., as well as articles on the 2015 Beer Report, cocktail mixology, and more. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Beer Category Trends

What trend will have the greatest impact on the beer category?
View Results Poll Archive

THE BEVERAGE INDUSTRY STORE

cleaning-in-place-dairy-foo.gif
Cleaning-in-Place: Dairy, Food and Beverage Operations, 3rd Edition

This book addresses the principles of cleaning operations, water supply issues and the science of detergents and disinfectants.

More Products

Beverage Insider eNewsletter

Are you an Insider? Subscribe to Beverage Industry’s weekly e-newsletter to receive news headlines, new product information and magazine highlights.   

STAY CONNECTED

facebook40 twitter    youtubelinkedgoogle+ icon 40px

Webinars

Beverage Industry Webinars are an easy, effective and convenient way to get educated and informed on the latest industry trends and topics. All Webinars are FREE unless indicated. For more information, check out our Events page!