So what’s the deal with all the Jamba Juice love on tonight’s "30 Rock"?
The episode (which just aired on the east coast) featured prominent mention of America’s most loved purveyor of blended juice drinks. It all came up as part of a plot in which Jenna’s romantic entanglement with guest star James Franco turns out to have been part of corporate sponsorship deal with….Jamba Juice!
Why would the pushers of frosty fun want to sponsor a celeb romance? Dunno. That’s the wacky world of "30 Rock."
But in the real world of product placements, it turns out Jamba Juice did not pay to get plugged on tonight’s show. Not one red cent, apparently.
There have been examples of paid sponsorship on "30 Rock" in the past. Not every fan loved it, for example, when the show shilled for Verizon a couple years ago (we could care less).
In the case of tonight’s show, however, nobody in ad sales was behind the product-focused plot. It was just an idea from the writers. And rather than make up a fake brand, they decided to go with the real thing.
"Whenever 30 Rock has a product, people seem to think it’s automatically a deal, but tonight is a good example of the other way," "30 Rock" executive producer David Miner told TheWrap. "I’m sure our writers felt that to use a fake name in this context would have been distracting and ultimately just less funny."
Plus, Miner added: "Jamba Juice is just funny to say."
More proof money didn’t change hands can be found in a reference to "icy cold diarrhea" in tonight’s episode. Can’t imagine the Jamba guys were loving that one.
By the way, Jamba HQ: Feel free to send those six Mango-a-go-go smoothies to TVMojoe c/o TheWrap, 1444 Shameless Shill Lane, Santa Monica, Calif.