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January can be a pretty miserable month and a lot of people will be happy to see the end of it this week. There’s the post-Christmas blues, the bad weather and the already failed resolutions, it’s the back-to-work Monday of the year.

Brands have tried to capture the New Year lull in a number of ways. Our TVs are filled with adverts telling us to exercise more, watch our money and eat better. Last week we were told it was the most depressing day of the year, Blue Monday, a concept that was in fact developed as part of a publicity campaign for Sky Travel.

This year there has been a brand that has really caught our eye. Innocent Drinks’ ‘Beat January’ campaign invites users to ‘Click yourself happy’ and challenge the beginning of the year with a fight.

Clicking on the boxes reveals, advent calendar style, pun-filled images that are designed to give users a smile. Many of them are based on trends from 2012 and tick the right boxes for their audience with cupcakes, cats and social media references.

The campaign might just seem like a fun way to pass five minutes (or ten if you choose to Get Buns of Steel or Feel the Dot of Positivity as well) but actually it is much cleverer than that. Innocent have found a way to relate to their target audience and get them interacting with their brand, without obviously advertising their product.

By using references to recent trends and by adding images that have gone viral on sites such as Reddit and 9gag, they have shown that they are up-to-date with the platform that they are delivering on.

It’s all well getting your customers to laugh but the best part of this campaign is the way it is designed to be shared. The ‘Click Yourself Happy’ game has a separate ‘Share this on Facebook’ button for every box on the screen.

All of the images and captions have a ‘saw this and thought of you’ appeal so users are likely to share with their friends who, in turn, will be brought back to the Innocent page. The campaign is well integrated with Facebook, so rather than posting as a small link, the image appears as a large Facebook photo within your timeline. This gives them the opportunity to tag friends and add their own comment.

So where do the smoothies come into all this? On completing the game you see the following screen.

 

It’s the first time we’ve seen an obvious reference to the product and even then it is only a photo, no descriptions, attempts to sell or tag lines. The ‘You: 1 Jan: 0’ image is recognisable from print advertising, posters and bus stops and, again, users have the opportunity to share the game on Facebook and Twitter.

As January comes to a close and we say goodbye to Blue Monday and the dreaded sales, we’re looking forward to seeing what Innocent has up their sleeves for their next campaign.

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