Super Bowl

Soda Stream’s Super Bowl Challenge

13 Jan 2014  

Last year Soda Stream ran its first Super Bowl ad ever. The spot was mediocre; the Kellogg Super Bowl Advertising Review panel gave it a C.

Here it is:


Soda Stream was smart to advertise on the Super Bowl. The brand was growing quickly and needed to accelerate adoption. A Super Bowl ad is a great way to build broad awareness and spark adoption.

The issue: Soda Stream had a strategy problem.

Soda Stream’s 2013 spot featured exploding bottles. As people carbonated water, plastic soda bottles blew up. The key line was this: “With Soda Stream you can save 2,000 bottles a year.”

This would have worked well if saving bottles is a priority for people. Unfortunately, for most folks it isn’t. I’m certain it scored well in consumer tests because people like to think they care about the environment. It probably did even better in focus group studies. But it isn’t a strong enough benefit to drive a behavior change.

Saving bottles is not why most people will use Soda Stream. If someone really wanted to save bottles they would be drinking regular tap water from a reusable jug.

As a result, the 2013 Super Bowl ad fell a bit flat. You can only do so much with a flawed strategy.

Soda Stream is advertising on the Super Bowl again in 2014. This year the brand needs to do better. This is particularly the case in light of its weak earnings announcement this week.

The most important task: find a benefit. Soda Stream has to put forth a more compelling reason for people to use the product. It could be quality, experience, convenience or value. The brand has to find something.

Soda Stream announced over the weekend that it had signed Scarlett Johansson as a spokesperson and she will appear in the brand’s Super Bowl spot.

This is a good first step; a celebrity endorser is a great way to spark interest.

Now Soda Stream has to find a benefit and make a compelling case.

4 Responses

  1. Macapple1 says:

    This is a great example of the importance of your brands message and the strategy you use to increase brand awareness. Check out this article from one of the industries top consulting agencies.

  2. Ankur says:

    As per CEO Daniel Birnbuam’s comment the theme for 2014 ad is “better soda made by you” though the spokeperson Johansson believe the key benefit is saving bottle. Let’s wait and watch what they can deliver.

  3. I’d raise a big red flag against the comment “a celebrity endorser is a great way to spark interest.” It is, in my experience, almost always far more costly to the advertiser than the benefit derived. Especially if it’s a choice of “pretty person” with no connection to the category, or benefit.

    • Tim Calkins says:

      I agree celebrities can be a mixed blessing and debatable financial proposition. Some endorsements work better than others.

      In this case, I think cost is a key question; I wonder what they paid for the deal. It is tough to fully assess the ROI without knowing that.

      I’ll be interested to see if they are able communicate a benefit while capitalizing on the endorsement. That will be a challenge.

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