Chupa Chups’ Clever April Fools’ Campaign Incites Lollipop Lovers in 150 Countries to Hunt for 50-Carat Gemstones

April 3rd, 2014

Chupa Chups candy lovers in 150 countries were thrilled when the confectionery company announced that it had released exactly five 50-carat precious stone “lollipops” into worldwide distribution — a promotion that reminds us a lot of Willy Wonka’s five Golden Tickets in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

But the excitement soon turned to disappointment when the gemstone giveaway was exposed as an April Fools’ Day hoax designed to generate a lot of buzz for the company’s line of faceted lollipops in colors that include sapphire blue, ruby red and emerald green.

Chupa Chups, which is owned by a multinational Italian company and sells more than five billion lollipops each year, had stated in a press release that five lollipops made entirely of emerald, ruby, sapphire, diamond and giant black pearl were distributed randomly across the world “as part of a marketing campaign to surprise and delight customers everywhere.” Each precious stone was reported to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.

At a press conference held at holding company Perfetti Van Melle headquarters in Milan, Italy, chief marketing officer Marco DiPaulo added more fuel to the fire when he reported that the campaign had created overwhelming excitement in Argentina, where the first gemstone lollipop has been discovered by a 16-year old boy.

A YouTube video supposedly shows a news report about lucky winner Antonio Lorenzo and his mother in a convenience store where he bought the gemstone sucker that was believed to be an “uncut diamond.”

In the report, the young man and his mom visit a jewelry store, where the jeweler estimates the value of the rough “diamond” to be $1 million to $2 million.

“You may ask why Chupa Chups has decided to do this," said DiPaulo. "Well, just imagine if the next person who happens to be lucky enough to uncover a precious gemstone is you.”

All the buildup came crashing down when Chupa Chups’ various international Facebook pages started to let their fans in on the hoax.

“Lollipops filled with rare stones?” asked the Australia-based Chupa Chups Facebook page. “Sorry to break the bad news, fans, but it's April 1, and you know what that means! Sorry if we've left you feeling glum, but you can still grab your favorite Chupa Chups and suck away those sad faces!"

Added Chupa Chups’ Malaysia Facebook page, “Congratulations, everyone — you’re on the ball today! Yes, of course the precious stone range was just an April Fools' prank. And did you see this video circulating across the Internet, too? Yep, that was just a prank as well. But unwrapping a Chupa Chups is like unwrapping a precious stone so you can still experience the joy."

Check out the staged video featuring lucky Lorenzo below:

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