Alex Bogusky, former CPB'er (though of course the B is still on the name plate) has a new gig headin' up a shop called Common. They're a kind of do-gooder agency, or as it says on their website "Do shit that matters."
This spot for SodaStream from Alex Bogusky and Common was banned in the U.K! Oooh controversy!!!! But that's okay because it'll air on the Super Bowl, competing with Coke and Pepsi! Huzzah! Power to the People!
The U.K. spot was banned by Clearcast, an organization that pre-approves ads in the U.K., because supposedly it depicts a world in which SodaStream is "Denigrating the beverage market."
I thought it was banned because it depicted a world of mediocre product demonstration advertising.
SodaStream's UK managing director, Fiona Hope, had this to say about the whole thing:
"Through the ad, we are simply displaying an alternative way to living more sustainably and illustrating one of our product's benefits – the reduction of plastic bottle wastage.
"Consumers should be allowed to make their own decisions about how to live their lives and the products to chose. This decision appears to put the sensitivities of the world's soft drinks giants ahead of concern for the environment."
That's totally true. if I don't want to use recycled plastic bottles and instead make my own soda at home with a machine that allows me to dispense unregulated amounts of obesity and diabetes-causing sugar (or potentially hazard-causing of artificial sweeteners) into my body, then dammit, I bloody well will!
Does this mean we're allowed to eat Burger King again? Anyone?
By the way, Sodastream is acting innocent here, but they have used these kinds of stunts to get the (free) publicity by going after the Big Soda marketers before. In one case, they sent a whole bunch of plastic branded bottles as an installation, to Atlanta's Centennial Park--just outside Coca-Cola's headquarters. So I guess SodaStream is kind of like Greenpeace, except they're pedaling plastic-free diabetes and obesity-causing sugar water.
SodaStream, Bogusky, et al: Be sure to cite Kidsleepy when you start talking about the Big Soda™ industry. k thx.
As for the spot itself, it's just one big product demonstration. The special effects of bottles disappearing are nothing special. Maybe if they campaign it out, we 'll be able to see the out of work beverage distributors cashing their welfare checks to get a SodaStream!
Considering SodaStream advertises straight forward live read bumper spots with both Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly reading the scripts during their radio shows, I'm not surprised the spot continues this straight forward trend. You can't get much more MIddle American than this. Although to be fair to SodaStream, they know their audience. There is nary a mention of "plastic bottle waste," or Big Soda™ when the scripts are read to the right wingers. It's more the "look how much money you save drinking this shit."
The title of the spot: "The SodaStream Effect," reminds me of "The Axe Effect." Thankfully they didn't take it to the same place, otherwise it would have come across as a Godaddy ad, but even more pedestrian.
Now, I can't speak for the U.K. but according to every last press release and ad article, online the spot has generated more than a million views in a month. Is that even considered a lot these days? Sounds kind of average to me.
I'm sure the spot, despite its coma-inducing properties, will do well. SodaStream is a company on the rise. It's been getting momentum and press (free or otherwise) for a while. In fact, just recently Sodastream's stock just closed above $40 for the first time. It seems they're doing something right, so it's not like the wave will be stopped by something this boring.
By the way, even the financial tome The Motley Fool described the ad as being "probably the tamest of the banned commercials you will ever see." Not exactly a glowing review.
With this in mind we ask Adland the larger question: Do you think The SodaStream Effect is a SuperBowl XLVII worthy spot?
Leave us some comments, kids.
Agency: Common/ Alex Bogusky