The marketer of home soda-making machines made its second straight Super Bowl appearance in 2014, this time adding celebrity appeal by employing Scarlett Johansson for its pitch. The theme is "better bubbles made by you," which sounds fairly innocuous, but CEO Daniel Birnbaum promised an "edgy ad," telling Ad Age that the company sought a fourth-quarter time slot because it wanted to get the final word after any Coke and Pepsi ads. Then, predictably and probably all according to brand's PR strategy, its ad calling out Coca-Cola and Pepsi by name was rejected by Fox; another version of the spot that didn't call out the competition ran instead. (Less predictably, SodaStream's factory in the West Bank made Ms. Johansson a target of complaints by people including Pink Floyd's Roger Waters.)
Was it fair that SodaStream couldn’t mock Coke and Pepsi in the Super Bowl, the way Chevrolet’s “2012” Silverado ad openly mocked Ford two years earlier? No. Among other potential factors in the disparity, SodaStream didn’t have a Chevrolet-sized overall ad budget to use as leverage with the network. But SodaStream knew this. In 2013, after all, the company had a great, funny ad that was banned from the game on similar logic (this version aired instead). For 2014, perhaps by design, it simply had to tweak its ad, which was created by Humanaut in Chattanooga, Tenn. The original, uncensored version of the 2014 spot includes an easy-to-trim shot of Johansson looking into the camera and saying, "Sorry, Coke and Pepsi."
Director: Super Bowl veteran Bryan Buckley. Production company: Hungry Man. Executive producer: Mino Jarjoura. Director of Photgraphy: Scott Henriksen.
Creative advisor: Alex Bogusky. Creative director: David Littlejohn. Copywriter: David Littlejohn. Art director: Stephanie Gelabert. Integrated production partner: Octopus Of Mind. Executive integrated producer: Chris Kyriakos. Business affairs: Jennifer DeCastro.
Visual Effects: The Mill Los Angeles. Senior executive producer: Sue Troyan. Executive producer: Enca Kaul. Visual effects supervisor: Phil Crowe. 2D lead: Robin McGloin. 2D artists: Steve Gibbons, Robert Murdock. Editorial: Cut & Run Los Angeles. Editors: Jay Nelson, Ben McCambridge. Executive producer: Carr Schilling. Producer: Remy Foxx.
QUARTER AIRED: Q4