Jamba Juice chillin' despite 'Baby' slap

Times Staff Writer

To old-school Hollywood press agents, there was no such thing as bad publicity.

The folks at Jamba Juice apparently subscribe to the same philosophy.

In the new movie comedy "Baby Mama," Greg Kinnear plays the owner of a small juice bar who recoils at repeated suggestions that his shop is like Jamba Juice, the Emeryville, Calif.-based chain with 728 stores across the country.

Kinnear's character calls Jamba Juice the Wal-Mart of the smoothie world, deriding its proprietors as "corporate juice pimps."

Company executives say they got the joke.

"We thought it was funny," said Paul Coletta, Jamba Juice's vice president of marketing. "We're a brand that was built on fun. We're part of the pop culture, and being part of the pop culture conversation is what helps us stay relevant in consumers' minds."

Jamba Juice never pays for product placement in movies or TV shows, Coletta said, and the company only became aware of its role in "Baby Mama" after employees saw the movie when it was released two weeks ago. Not only is he not bothered by the movie's jabs, Coletta said he's thankful the filmmakers chose Jamba Juice rather than another brand.

The company is no stranger to gibes.

In 2007, "Late Show" host David Letterman told the audience he liked to order two Jamba Juice smoothies at a time, adding that he'd "really feel sick" while drinking the second one.



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