Posted: 5:39 pm Wednesday, August 4th, 2010
By Allison Ross
Fast-food chain McDonald’s clearly got Jamba Juice’s attention when it invaded the company’s turf by officially launching its “real fruit” smoothies last month.
Now Jamba Juice is fighting back in the same way: by getting into the burger business.
Well, not really.
The smoothie chain has launched a tongue-in-cheek promotion touting its new “Cheeseburger Chill” smoothie, a goopy, lumpy, brown drink made of a cheeseburger blended with ice, then garnished with a ketchup and mustard swirl on top.
“We all love burgers and you can’t deny a smoothie,” the commercial, which can be found on YouTube, sings. “Now you’ve got both, and it’s super groovy.”
The commercial then directs customers to CheeseburgerChill.com, which, of course, explains that the Cheeseburger Chill Smoothie does not exist.
“Is Jamba Juice getting into the burger business? No way,” the website says. “But it does seem some burger chains are getting into the smoothie business, which to us is about as weird as a Cheeseburger Chill Smoothie.”
Luckily for consumers who managed to make it through the entire disgusting commercial, Jamba Juice is offering a $1 off coupon for one of its real smoothies at CheeseburgerChill.com.
“There’s a lot of smoothie talk happening right now, and we wanted to find a creative way to be a part of the conversation,” Susan Shields, chief marketing officer for Jamba Juice, said. “When McDonald’s launched smoothies, we thought, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be funny to see what it would look like if we got into the burger business?’ … It was meant to create a laugh, but also educate customers on the benefits of Jamba Juice smoothies.”
She said the $1 off coupons allow customers to be rewarded for being in on the joke about the Cheeseburger Smoothie.
Shield noted that Jamba Juice has more than 30 smoothie flavors that are made with real fruit and have “value-added boosts such as vitamins, probiotics, omega-3 and protein.”
But McDonald’s, which currently has only two smoothie flavors, is also marketing its smoothies’ health values.
A calorie comparison doesn’t seem to yield much difference between the two. A 16-ounce size of McDonald’s strawberry banana smoothie (with yogurt) is 260 calories. Jamba Juice’s Strawberries Wild smoothie, which is also strawberry-banana flavored, is 250 calories.
Despite the competition between the two companies, Shields said, “We see McDonald’s entry into the smoothie category as a strong validation of the market’s overall growth potential and think it will drive sales across the industry.”
McDonald’s declined to comment on Jamba Juice’s cheeky promotion, but a South Florida spokeswoman for McDonald’s said in an e-mail: “The combination of great value and great taste is making Real Fruit Smoothies a fast favorite, with customers enjoying them throughout the day.”
When asked whether there was concern that the promotion would tie a disgusting product to Jamba Juice’s brand, Shields said, “For those that know us, they understand that we would never actually create something like the Cheeseburger Chill — and for those that don’t know us, it was an opportunity to get their attention and in the end, show them what we are really all about.”