Sodastream: Bursting Soda Giants’ Bubble

Courtesy of the Super Bowl Host Committee

Courtesy of the Super Bowl Host Committee

Football fans look forward to one stellar event every year: Super Bowl.  It’s a matchup not only about football, but also parties, halftime shows, and multimillion-dollar commercials.

Coca-Cola offered a touching commercial embracing different cultures; a concept that fits their worldwide distribution of products.  Budweiser’s commercial played on cuteness.  Who doesn’t love puppies!

Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Photo Courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Sodastream aired their commercial featuring Scarlett Johansson. Sodastream, which manufactures their machines in a factory in an Israeli settlement, put Johansson in the middle of controversy the week leading up to the Super Bowl.  Oxfam, an organization that “works with partner organizations and alongside vulnerable women and men to end the injustices that cause poverty,” the website said, distanced themselves from Johansson that same week.  More recently, Johansson decided to step down as Oxfam’s global ambassador.

The Middle East controversy overshadowed the “low-blow” to Coke and Pepsi. The edited version was featured during Super Bowl leaving out the dig to its competitors, but the full unedited commercial, with more than 12 million views, is available on YouTube.  Sodastream went as far as creating the hashtag “sorrycokeandpepsi.”  Search the hashtag on Twitter: No results.

A giant is fighting back. Unknown if planned or in response to the Sodastream ad, Coca-Cola announced that it has bought a 10 percent share in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.  Coca-Cola plans to feature their products in Green Mountain’s Keurig Cold machine.  Where did Sodastream’s plan go wrong? Did their angle to reach audiences encourage sales or will it fizzle out against soda giants?

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4 Responses to Sodastream: Bursting Soda Giants’ Bubble

  1. Abby Dugan says:

    Sodastream has definitely had some issues in 2013. They came out strong for the 2012 holiday season and sales were strong, but then 2013 was rough because making your own soda was no longer fun or a novelty. During the Super Bowl, I saw her commercial for Sodastream, but it did not make me want to buy a Sodastream. I have friends who have one and they rarely use it because it takes some effort and is not cheap. I think it is hard to try to compete with Coca-Cola because their soda is readily available, there is no work required and it is not that expensive. My take is that they will fizzle out and fall into the “As Seen On TV” category of novelties.

  2. Kara Burns says:

    For starters, I think that Sodastream is a very inventive product and good for those people who are on the go and want a healthier option of soda to take with them. I think where Sodastream went wrong was in their “digs” towards the bigger players in the industry: Coke and Pepsi. Both brands have been in business far longer than the newly marketed Sodastream. I think it’s too early in the game for this new brand to be taking huge marks against the soda giants and needs to build up more credibility before going that far, especially debuting that ad on a huge commercial weekend such as the Super Bowl. And to further go with the idea, Coca-cola is now doing their own thing with Green Mountain Keurig machine, which will be easier for people to implement in their daily lives, especially if they already are familiar with both Coke and the Keurig brand. I think they should have highlighted more on themselves than their competitors in getting the benefits out in a stronger way to avoid this negative news around their “new” brand and product.

  3. Kyleigh Zmijewski says:

    Yes, I don’t believe Scarlett Johansson should have stepped down and took the offer to do the Sodastream commercial but maybe she needed the money. This did hurt her reputation as a charitable and compassionate person who was representing (Ambassador) for Oxfam. As for Johansson being in the middle of the controversy, her publicist should have known better and advised her not to take job.

    As for Sodastream not making a big splash compared to Coke or Pepsi, the commercial was not executed well. Yes, it was witty and sort of comical but it had no pull or persuasion on most of its target audience. Pepsi and Coke both are longtime brands that have built themselves on branding and quality products. Thus, now so many years later are able to produce a commercial that can bring anyone to an “Aw” moment or some sort of warming of the heart.

  4. Zander Buel says:

    Aside from my opinion that Sodastream’s commercial was stupid, there is no way that a leviathan like Coca-Cola would feel intimidated by a significantly smaller brand. There have been studies upon studies and documentaries upon documentaries detailing the bad side effects of drinking Coke. Why would Sodastream be the one to really dent their armor?

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