On 1st April 2016, Rooster PR launched an amusing April Fools’ Day (AFD) prank on behalf of the Spanish Tourist Office (STO).
Using the dedicated hashtag, #Sangria4Life, our AFD story claimed that the traditional Spanish tipple, Sangria, had been found to have a number of long term health benefits.
We cited a fictional professor and a fake institution – Professor Mark Stirling, Head of Food & Nutritional Sciences from the University of South Midlands – and claimed that in a study of 1,000 people across the UK, those who drank Sangria on a regular basis were found to have higher energy levels, greater life expectancy and an increase in serotonin levels.
To lend the findings authenticity and credibility, the health benefits of the Spanish drink were attributed to the ‘supercharged’ effect of the compound Resveratrol (which is found in red wine and actually does have scientifically proven health benefits) when combined with the goodness of Spanish fruits.
The ‘news’ was announced via a press release and video, which was created in partnership with production agency Snappin’ Turtle in the style of a news package. Rooster developed the script for the tongue-in-cheek film, featuring two elderly Brits enjoying Sangria, running at the gym, speed-knitting and celebrating a milestone birthday (104th!). It also featured an interview with an actor posing as our fictional professor, communicating the benefits of drinking Sangria.
As well as pitching the news out to media on the morning of the 1st, we briefed two influential bloggers – Em Talks and Pommie Travels – ahead of the campaign. Both were ‘in on the joke’ and put out timely blog posts revealing Sangria as the new health drink. They also shared the story on social media using the hashtag #Sangria4Life.
Rooster managed the STO social media channels for the duration of the campaign, drafting and publishing #Sangria4Life content and running strategic social media promotions for key posts and tweets, as well as for the YouTube video.
At 4pm Rooster announced that the news was in fact an AFD prank and, as pre-agreed, the bloggers followed suit, revealing the story as a joke to their vast social media followings.
The stunt was applauded in a variety of national and regional outlets, including The Telegraph, Metro, Liverpool Echo, PR Examples and the Irish Sun, which featured the campaign in their AFD roundups. The spoof story was also posted as real news on websites including House of Coco, Champagne Lifestyle, and freelance journalist, Anna Nicholas’ own website. A total of 11 pieces of coverage were secured on the day, across UK print & digital media and blogs. The story was even celebrated by Spanish travel trade title, HostelTur!
The impact of the campaign on social media was impressive. The video received a staggering 77,707 views, with an average view time of 1m14s, equating to 66 days and 15hrs of view time. A total of 193 #Sangria4Life tweets and retweets achieved a whopping 1,537,704 impressions combined, whilst the four scheduled STO posts on Facebook reached a total of 197,682 users and generated 6,448 post clicks, shares, reactions and comments.
“Thanks to the whole team at Rooster; they took our original idea and grew it with flawless execution, achieving fantastic coverage and a huge social media buzz. A resounding success!”
Enrique Ruiz de Lera, Director, Spanish Tourist Office London