“When I read the description, it was like, ‘Actors, comics, musicians,’ — whatever,” Mr. Levinson said, “‘Would you be interested in traveling the country? Would you be interested in dressing like a giant smoothie?’ Well, on all of those fronts, kind of, yes.”

For his entry, he stared into the camera, writhing and singing lyrics like, “I wanna found a new country in Asia and call it Cupistan.” There were 95 entries, but his won easily.

“Everyone just kind of fell in love with Joel,” said Chris Morocco, a Planet Smoothie executive. “We had people coming in singing the jingle.”

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.