Smoothie King Taps Social to Salvage New Year’s Resolutions

Mid-January is ripe for fitness-minded marketing, per brand

Millions of New Year's resolutions—proclamations towards better health/fitness, in most cases—are probably already in tenuous shape. And that’s precisely why Smoothie King is launching a six-week social media campaign dubbed "Lean Into Life" today rather than at the beginning of January.

"We're launching this campaign right as people start to waver—when they are most in need of support and motivation," Bobby Williams, marketing vp at the beverage company, told Adweek.

Metairie, La.-based Smoothie King will run Facebook ads from now until March to push a weekly contest that will present "challenges" to consumers. Somewhat surprisingly, the challenges are not fitness-oriented, instead telling consumers to do things like spending more time with family and performing random acts of kindness. To enter the contest, participants must snap and submit photos of themselves while completing the challenges. The brand is incentivizing participation by rewarding consumers with $100 gift-card giveaways every week, while a grand prize of free smoothies for a year and a set of four bicycles will also be given away.

Additionally, the campaign entails Smoothie King’s hundreds of franchisees’ Instagram accounts. Via Facebook, the brand is encouraging consumers to take the photos with the Instagram app and then tag the picture with "#SmoothieKing" and "#LeanIntoLife."

Citing the viral nature of Instagram, Williams addressed the potential power of consumer-generated images versus text-based efforts. "Photos are more inherently social—everyone seeing, sharing and interacting with the same image as a collective community," he explained. "Photos show what words can't."

Meanwhile, Smoothie King also hopes its Facebook ads increase its number of likes/fans, which currently stand at 289,000, as consumers have to like the brand’s page on the social site to enter the contest.