The latest Sodastream campaign fronted by Scarlett Johansson has caused a real stir and garnered the company a huge amount of worldwide unpaid-for viral attention. We think it’s a great example of product-based creative: here’s what we love about the two most recent ads.

The SodaStreamEffect ad:

This is a really effective product demonstration ad, that also very cleverly shows the impact SodaStream has on saving the world from plastic bottles - promising ‘you can save 2000 bottles a year’.

It uses a simple and clever creative approach that immediately links the product with saving us from the endless wastage of plastic bottles every time you use the machine - an extremely powerful and emotive reason to make your own at home.

We love that SodaStream are playing their challenger brand card well - bravely taking on their competition with a very strong point of difference - with a genuine environmental card to play as well.

We wait with interest to see their next step - given the rise of the anti-sugar movement we’d be expecting their next move to be promoting their environmental benefits and that they are healthier’ than other well known brands - with approximately 1/3 of the calories, carbs, sugar and sodium. Sorry again Coke and Pepsi.

The Superbowl ad:

This ad follows a time-honoured and proven formula of a product demonstration showing how simple it is to use, combined with a celebrity endorsement.  The real kickers woven in are:

  • They're not taking themselves too seriously, using tongue in cheek humour e.g. ‘Like most actors my real job is saving the world’.
  • Unashamed use of sex appeal and seduction in the final shots
  • All the while highlighting the benefits of not using endless plastic bottles
  • Having a crack at their competition, as the underdog and challenger brand with Johansson’s final delivery: ‘Sorry Coke and Pepsi’.

In terms of pushing creative boundaries, it's really the parting shot to Coke and Pepsi that is the killer - in fact it killed the ad appearing altogether at SuperBowl. Nevertheless it's had over 12 million views as of 10 February – after being posted on 27 Jan 2014.

Since it’s release, there has been a lot of exposure for SodaStream – an Israeli company operating on the West Bank – as the ad raised issues with Oxfam-Ambassador Scarlett Johansson becoming the face of SodaStream. Johansson has been criticised by political activists for aligning herself with a company caught up in the Israel/Palestine conflict and Oxfam voiced their disquiet at their Ambassador being involved with such a company. 

Contrary to the expectation she would apologise and drop her association with SodaStream, Johansson instead gave up her role with Oxfam and in her statement said ‘She [Johansson] and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.'