At the end of March, whiskey brand Jameson made a surprise announcement that it was expanding into beauty with the launch of its first skincare line, Beatha. With TV host and model Ayanda Thabethe as Beatha brand ambassador, the news made headlines and had consumers across social media platforms debating Jameson's unexpected business pivot.
Turns out the Beatha skincare line was an early April Fool's Day prank. Jameson revealed on 1 April that the product launch was simply the start of a Comedy Month campaign, which is centered on Jameson's new Humour Me comedy series running between 17 April and 24 April across digital platforms and Mzansi Magic.
Jameson Irish Whiskey has announced the unexpected launch of a skincare range called Beatha...
27 Mar 2021
“We are super thrilled to be able to finally announce the reveal of our new campaign. The launch of our stunt really had our consumers engaging and debating with us which is exactly what we had hoped for in the lead up to welcoming Comedy Month through what we believe will provide respite to consumers during a time of so much doom and gloom,” says Beatrice Marfleet, marketing manager of Jameson and Irish Whiskey.
Public response to the prank has been largely positive on social media, however launching an April Fool's Day prank almost a full week before 1 April could encourage scepticism around valid news stories beyond April Fool's Day itself. Is this a responsible marketing approach in the fake news era?
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