Jamba Juice hijacks Adele and Ellen prank with joke website

When Adele made up fake brand Swishy Chug to prank Jamba Juice employees, the juice company moved quickly to bring the brand to life.

Jamba Juice hijacks Adele and Ellen prank with joke website

Company: Jamba Juice
Campaign: Ellen and Adele Prank Jamba Juice
Agency mix: Finn Partners, Zimmerman, and Modern Climate
Duration: February 18 - March 13, 2016
Budget: None

After singer Adele pranked Jamba Juice employees on The Ellen DeGeneres Show by telling them the fictional tale of British store Swishy Chug, the juice company created a branded Swishy Chug website to capitalize on the moment.

In the episode, which aired in February, Adele was sent to Jamba Juice, where she made requests such as, "I’ll take a large in a small cup." Advised by DeGeneres, through an ear piece, Adele also reached over the counter with a pair of scissors to cut, and proceed to eat, wheatgrass.

She then told the Jamba Juice staffers about Swishy Chug, where customers can buy beet and potato smoothies.

Jamba Juice’s Swishy Chug branded website landed the company three cost-free segments on DeGeneres’ show in just two weeks. The host also invited Jamba Juice to the studio, where the company gave out smoothies to the audience. The Swishy Chug URL, which features $2 off coupons that are redeemable at Jamba Juice locations, was also shared on the show.

Jamba Juice aimed to capitalize on the TV show’s segment by showcasing the juice company’s creative brand personality, with assistance from agencies Finn Partners, Zimmerman, and Modern Climate.

"We watched the video the morning that Ellen posted it on her website," explained Cindy Coppola, Partner at Finn Partners. "Immediately, all Jamba Juice agencies stopped what they were working on and put this at the top of our priority lists. We knew we only had a small window to respond to such an amazing moment and we were determined to work together to make that response a memorable one."

The campaign team sought to bring the fictionalized Swishy Chug brand to life as quickly as possible, in order to keep the momentum of The Ellen DeGeneres Show prank rolling.

Within six hours of the The Ellen DeGeneres Show segment airing, the team created a dedicated website -- www.SwishyChug.com --alerting the world: "Move over tea & crumpets. England has a new favourite."

The team also shared the Swishy Chug URL with top-tier media contacts that had covered the viral video to garner buzz for the Jamba-owned website.

"Swishy Chug, the hilarious fictional UK beverage Adele references in the original video, became Jamba-owned web property and visitors to the site got a fun, tongue-in-cheek experience," said Coppola.

Jamba Juice also created a Swishy Chug Twitter account to go along with the new website.

To show DeGeneres appreciation for the segment, Jamba Juice delivered a variety of classic smoothies and freshly squeezed juices to the show’s crew the morning after the episode aired.

A few days after the Swishy Chug activation, the PR team got word that DeGeneres was so impressed that she invited the brand on the show to surprise her audience with Jamba Juice smoothies. Ellen shared the Swishy Chug URL on her show and praised Jamba Juice for the way the brand had responded to her prank.

The Swishy Chug activation inspired three Ellen Show segments in less than two weeks - equivalent to an estimated $3 million in integrations - at zero cost to the brand.

The campaign generated 1,200 pieces of coverage worldwide, totaling more than 3.4 billion media impressions in just two weeks. Coverage was also secured in outlets including People, PerezHilton, E! Online, Us Magazine, Time, Self, BuzzFeed, Mashable, Rolling Stone, and Billboard. Many of the stories linked to the $2 off coupon on the Swishy Chug website.

To date, more than 20,000 Jamba Juice fans have redeemed the coupon, tying the campaign directly to a sales lift.

"The Jamba buzz is at an all-time high and we're all proud to be a part of the moment," said Julie Washington, SVP, chief marketing and innovation officer at Jamba Juice. "We know we're lucky to get this kind of exposure at no cost - integrations are a big business. But without the efforts of our collective team, we wouldn't have been able to maximize the potential of one of Ellen's genius ideas." 

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