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April Fools' Day The Drum Awards McDonald's

How Sprite bottled an internet meme without breaking the bank


By Awards Analyst, writer

December 7, 2022 | 4 min read

Sprite and Havas Atlanta won at The Drum Awards for Social Media 2022 in the low-budget category for Spicy Sprite. Here, we find out how a single image and tweet bubbled all over on Twitter.


How frugal Sprite bottled an internet meme without breaking the bank

Harnessing the urban legend of 'Spicy Sprite', the term given to a mysterious flavor twang of the lemon and lime soft drink as served in McDonald's, Sprite played to the gallery with a baiting image and tweet.

Pouring petrol on a wave of discussion, memes and reaction videos that have swept the internet since the term was first coined by the Black community on Twitter, the brand took ownership of the speculation by pasting the McDonald's Golden Arches onto a can of Sprite.

The brief

Seeking to make a guaranteed impression with zero production or media dollars, the brand added fuel to the fire of internet theories surrounding the existence (or otherwise) of Spicy Sprite with its suggestive message.

The spoof April Fool's product pranked fans and sparked a fresh round of online conversation with the tweet being picked up by media outlets including The Drum, as well as popular meme accounts such as Daquan and Worldstar.

The idea

Faced with the unenviable task of generating buzz with minimal resources, Havas Atlanta had just one week to make an impression, prompting them to embrace a little-known phenomenon surrounding alleged recipe differences between regular and McDonald's Sprite.

Adopting the headline 'It hits different', the team implied that the soft drink maker had found the secret to recreating the elusive 'Spicy Sprite' taste for general consumption.

The results

In a single post, Sprite created the highest-performing organic tweet ever posted by The Coca-Cola Company.

In the process, 4bn impressions were generated, including approximately 35m organic impressions and around 3.3m press impressions.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Social Media 2022. Find out how you can enter now.

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