food and beverages

Scotch Tape Whisky, Potato Chip Soda, And More April Fools' Stunts

It’s that time of year again. If you saw anything odd from brands on April 1 or the days leading up to it, you would be right to be skeptical. Many brands have adopted the April Fools’ holiday as an opportunity to generate buzz around prank announcements, attempting to strike the right balance of tone to avoid alienating consumers who feel misled.

This year saw no shortage of such stunts – including one brand that took the opportunity to highlight a real product that grew out of last year’s prank.

Driscoll’s Blue Bliss Raspberries

Berry brand behemoth Driscoll’s channels the popular flavor of “blue raspberry” common in confectionary items with a mock announcement about a trademarked “innovation” it promises is “all natural” and “GMO-free:” the Blue Bliss Raspberry. We assumed this one was obvious enough that no one would fall for it, but comments on the brand's Instagram post announcing the “release” of a new variety suggests otherwise.



Hendrick’s “Driest Martini Ever”

Continuing in the trend of the scientifically implausible or impossible: Gin brand Hendrick’s takes the dry martini to new extremes. Promising the “Driest Martini Ever” the brand announced the release of “a cocktail crafted with a curious concoction of powdered Hendrick’s Gin, English Cucumbers and a whisper of vermouth, all in powdered form and ready to be rehydrated at your leisure.” Maybe next year it will partner with Frito-Lay’s to create a martini chip flavor.

HOP WTR chews out gullible consumers

Only slightly more believable, given some of the brand's stunts, is a prank from hoppy sparkling water brand HOP WTR. The brand announced a new addition to its roster, which sees it move outside the water category, and indeed liquids, altogether: HOP CHW, which it claims provides the same “refreshment found in every HOP WTR can,” explaining, “simply place the pouch between your gum and lip for an instant burst of hoppy goodness.” According to the announcement, these gums are packed with adaptogens and nootropics. A brand statement notes that the product should not be swallowed. You could say the same about the announcement.

An adhesive brand walks into a bar…

Scotch is a brand of adhesive tape owned by 3M. It is also a name used for whisky made in Scotland. Recognizing the coincidence, Scotch decided to have some fun with its brand name and claim to be entering the alcohol category. Posting about the announcement on Instagram, the brand wrote: “Hailing from the heart of Scotland, Scotch Single Malt Scotch Whisky is sure to be a home bar essential, and the name on everyone's lips in the very finest establishments,” claiming the product is aged for 14 years in oak barrels, resulting in “strongly smoky whisky with distinct herbal notes, in addition to peat with a smooth finish.”

Olipop x Pringles Sour Cream & Onion

There are some odd potato chip flavors out there. There are some odd soda flavors out there. In its parodic announcement, better-for-you soda brand Olipop and Pringles claim to have teamed up for a collaboration bringing the classic sour cream & onion chip flavor to Olipop’s lineup of flavors. (Hey, sour cream does have probiotics.)  In some ways, this one is perhaps a bit more believable, given that savory flavors have been making their way into beverages lately: just look at sparkline wine cocktail brand Spritz Society and Claussen’s pickle flavor collaboration, which started as an April Fools’ prank but turned into a real release.

Not joking…

Pickle cocktails weren’t the only product to make the leap from prank to reality last year, and another such item is returning for the occasion. Burt’s Bees and Hidden Valley Ranch announced the return of Burt’s Bees x Hidden Valley Ranch Dippers lip balm, which debuted as a real product earlier this year (and sold out), after consumer feedback to last year’s April Fools’ gag led the Clorox brands to believe there was a real market for the odd pairing. It’s a good reminder that sometimes audience responses to these gags can be unpredictable.

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