Learn How a National Candy Company Leveraged April Fool’s Day for Real “Dill” Results

Learn how American Licorice Company used ShortStack to create a successful April Fool's Day campaign with pickle-flavored straws.

By Rina Bottom ・4 min read
Best Practices

On April Fool’s Day last year, I redecorated our whole office. My “decorations” provided my coworkers with a laugh when they walked in that morning. 

April Fool’s Day is filled with silly jokes, pranks (like the one above), and opportunities for brands to have some fun with their fans and all internet users.

American Licorice Company decided to take their joke a step further by incorporating April Fool’s fun into their business strategy. They introduced a funky twist to their well-loved Sour Punch Straws - Pickle Straws. As an online exclusive, consumers could order a special pack of Sour Punch Straws that included green apple, lemon-lime, watermelon, and pickle-flavored straws. They made every flavor the same green color, making them visually identical, and creating an exciting experience for fans to discover which flavor they will taste. To promote this online exclusive item, American Licorice Company also launched an interactive Pickle Roulette Campaign, leveraging ShortStack's innovative Fortune Wheel template, to engage their customers and amplify the excitement surrounding their April Fool's Day surprise.

Continue to learn how American Licorice Company produced sold-out results and a growth of over 40,000 leads compared to last year’s campaign without using ShortStack.

American Licorice Company X ShortStack

American Licorice is a family-owned business that produces Red Vines, Sour Punch, Torie and Howard, and Aprati. Their company's mission is to champion youth and their communities. In 2011, American Licorice Co. began its primary charitable giving program to provide school bags and school supplies through the Kids In Need Foundation to schools located around its Union City and La Porte locations. 

American Licorice Company has been in business since 1914, making it over 100 years old. Their oldest candy is still in production today and was originally introduced in 1930, Snaps®, a chewy black licorice center panned with a sweet pastel-colored candy coating.

Austen Huth, the senior graphic designer at American Licorice Company, explained that while they are new users of ShortStack (a user since November 2022) they have successfully run nine marketing campaigns and typically have at least two campaigns running at any given time. In Huth’s short experience with the platform, she explains, “ShortStack has a robust portfolio of campaigns and templates. I am most impressed with the scope of tasks that a single campaign has to offer. i.e. instant email to an entrant, social shares, extra points for social shares, embedding on a site, instant wins, and more!” 

American Licorice Company have run campaigns such as a hidden objects campaign, where candy lovers need to decipher clues to find the hidden objects in an image. 

They have also run a movie knowledge quiz for National Licorice Day, celebrating their brand Red Vines. 

Pickle Roulette

How did American Licorice Company come up with this innovative flavor and idea? According to Huth, “Our Innovations team conducted a thorough testing phase on a pickle-flavored straw, and our marketing team enthusiastically embraced the idea. We swiftly devised a campaign centered around this unique flavor to captivate consumers on April Fool's Day. Our primary objectives were to gauge the market interest in more unconventional flavors for Sour Punch products. The outcome exceeded our expectations, as the campaign turned out to be a huge success!” 

With the Pickle Roulette product, they needed a campaign to fit the bill. Enter ShortStack’s Fortune Wheel Template. 

American Licorice Company’s Pickle Roulette Landing Page

When consumers navigated to the contest’s landing page, they were greeted with a fun video showing off the new pickle roulette product. Just past the video, visitors see the fortune wheel of prizes with a form in order to spin the wheel. The form contained the following fields: Name, Email, Physical Address, Email Opt-In, and Agreement to Terms. By keeping their form short, they were able to collect the data needed to send physical prizes, and maximize the form’s completion rate, as longer forms tend to discourage participants. At the bottom of the landing page, visitors could see the full list of prizes and a call to action button to shop for the pickle roulette product. 

Using this template, they offered several enticing prizes; 5-25% off your online order, free shipping, and branded physical prizes. ALC’s combined use of digital and physical prizes gave them the opportunity to create a major buzz, which ultimately led to a sold-out product. 

To promote the contest and new flavor, they ran ads on Facebook and Instagram that directed online visitors to the Spin to Win landing page. The main goal was to funnel entrants into their ecommerce site where they could purchase this online exclusive product. 


Surprisingly to Huth and their team, the campaign produced incredible results. We were unsure how the unique flavor would do, but it “flew off the shelves,” in her own words. 

This campaign produced 50,394 unique views, 41,847 leads, and 21,798 email opens- an open rate of 52%. Compared to ALC’s April Fool's Day campaign in 2022, they saw a growth of over 400% and an increase in engagement by almost 20%. 

Because of these great results, the team at American Licorice Company has made the decision to create a permanent pickle flavor in their Sour Punch Straw lineup. The leads gathered from this campaign will all receive this great news via remarketing emails sent from ShortStack.

American Licorice Company Saw the ‘Real Dill’ by using ShortStack

The marketing team at American Licorice was able to produce high-quality results and leads with less budget than allotted the previous year for a similar campaign. They received higher impressions last year but overall received an increase in leads by 99% by utilizing ShortStack. Although that was not their intended use of the platform, the team at American Licorice Company has a higher interest in incorporating ShortStack into their email marketing strategy, given the successful email open rates.

American Licorice Company has proven that even with an unusual flavor, the right marketing campaigns help products fly off the shelves.

Looking to create your own Fortune Wheel Campaign? Get started for free today.

About the author

By Rina Bottom ・4 min read

Rina spends her days fearlessly helping users on the “frontlines” with the Support Team. She loves assisting users in creating seamless campaigns through support and best practices.

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