Jamba Juice last week turned some heads (and some stomachs) when it announced a new Cheeseburger Chill smoothie.
The unappetizing concoction, however, is not a real product. It's a response to burger chains—like McDonald's—that have recently added smoothies to their menus. Jamba Juice launched a video on YouTube, introducing the fictional drink. The video, which resembles an actual commercial, shows two people enjoying a burger that has been blended into a smoothie. The voiceover says: "Jamba Juice is all about whole fruit and natural smoothie goodness. Now we're taking things to a new level. Introducing the Cheeseburger Chill smoothie."
The video points viewers to a microsite, Cheeseburgerchill.com, where it's revealed that the video is a joke. The site states that Jamba Juice is not getting into the burger business.
"When McDonalds launched smoothies, we thought: 'Hey wouldn’t it be funny to see what it would look like if we got into the burger business?' Tongue firmly planted in cheek, the Cheeseburger Chill ad explains that with other quick service restaurant companies thriving on the most popular American dish of all time, Jamba has decided to enter the fray—in a total Jamba way," said Jamba Juice CMO Susan Shields. "It was meant to create a laugh, but also educate customers on the benefits of Jamba Juice smoothies."
Shields added that Jamba Juice sees McDonald’s entry into the smoothie category as a validation of a growing market. "As the category grows, we believe we’ll see a positive impact as these newer consumers begin to trade up to the type of better for you, whole fruit smoothies that Jamba offers—but first they should know what Jamba offers and how Jamba stands apart from its competitors," she said.
The online-only effort—created by Jamba Juice’s lead shop Neighbor Agency— has already created buzz among consumers, who have been sharing the video via social channels, including Facebook and Twitter, said Shields. On YouTube, the video has generated more than 204,000 views, and many user comments. Not everyone got the joke after watching the video, but that was the whole point, Shields said: "It was an opportunity to get [consumers'] attention and in the end, show them what we are really all about."