A top Jamba Juice executive said the chain’s fake advertising campaign that announced it was diving into the burger business was only intended to be a joke—and that Jamba Juice is, in fact, welcoming McDonald’s to the smoothie world.

Susan Shields, chief marketing officer for Jamba Juice, said the campaign—which was launched after McDonald’s rolled out its new line of smoothies—was a way for the brand to tout its position in the segment as other brands introduce their own smoothies.

“There’s a lot of smoothie talk right now, and we wanted to find a creative way to be a part of the conversation,” Shields wrote in an e-mail to QSR. “It’s a natural fit—showing off our benefits and ultimately giving something back to the customers who are engaging with us.”

In the “commercial” that Jamba Juice posted online last week, two customers visit a Jamba and order a supposedly new menu item: the Cheeseburger Chill smoothie.

The video, which shows a cheeseburger get pureed within a blender and topped with ketchup and mustard, leads watchers to CheeseburgerChill.com, a Jamba Juice viral site. The website offers a coupon for $1 off a smoothie.

Check out the Jamba Juice “commercial” below.

Shields said the campaign was created with “tongue firmly planted in cheek.”

“For those that know us, they understand that we would never actually create something like the Cheeseburger Chill,” she said.

“The Cheeseburger Chill video embodies the fun attitude that Jamba Juice is all about—and the $1 off coupon at the end is just another incentive for our fans (new and old) to try our smoothies for themselves.”

Shields said the campaign has been very successful and that “fans are really getting in on the joke and understand our reasoning for creating it.”

Though the fake campaign seems to some to be a slight against McDonald’s and its entry into the smoothie business, Shields said Jamba Juice is not worried about the new line of smoothies from the Golden Arches.

“McDonald’s is going to have an impact in any market category it enters,” she said, noting its successful entry into the coffee category. But, just as McCafe did not totally derail Starbucks, Shields does not expect its smoothies to gravely affect Jamba Juice.

“For Jamba, the McDonald’s smoothie launch represents a great opportunity to connect with new consumers and generate excitement for the overall category,” Shields said.

By Sam Oches

Menu Innovations, News, Jamba Juice, McDonald's