This Sunday’s Super Bowl will be punctuated by dozens of ads featuring everything from adorable puppies to kids in Star Wars outfits. But one commercial you won’t see is a provocative ad by the carbonated beverage company SodaStream — an Israeli company that is no stranger to controversy — that takes on soda giants Coca Cola and Pepsi.
That’s because the ad has been pulled after pressure from the mammoth corporations led Super Bowl host CBS to take it down from its programming. Reportedly, Coke and Pepsi were upset with the commercials’ implied criticism of the soda industry’s use of plastic bottles and the subsequent harmful effects on the environment:
CBS rejected the ad, reportedly because of its direct assault on the big two carbonated-beverage makers (CBS didn’t return calls for comment). As the music from the movie Deliverance trills, deliverymen from Coke and Pepsi show up at a supermarket and rush to deliver their products. But the bottles pop and disappear, creating a mess. The ad then pans to a shot of a guy using SodaStream. The implication is that SodaStream will make bottled sodas irrelevant. [...]
Like many upstarts, SodaStream has taken an in-your-face, hyperbolic approach to marketing. The company doesn’t just suggest that SodaStream is a money-saving artisanal device. Rather, it suggests that some of the world’s popular brands (and biggest advertisers) are effectively evil forces. Why? They promote the production of polluting bottles and cans.
“SodaStream empowers consumers to make their own fresh soda at home in seconds, without the devastating environmental impact of plastic soda bottles and cans, which litter our parks and oceans,” said Daniel Birnbaum, the chief executive officer of SodaStream International, in a statement. “Our ad confronts the beverage industry and its arguably out-dated business model by showing people that there exists a smarter way to enjoy soft drinks. One day we will look back on plastic soda bottles the way we now view cigarettes; as a dangerous vice, not as an easily-accepted feature of everyday life.”
Watch the ad here:
Americans throw away enough trash every year to cover the state of Texas — twice. And this isn’t the first time that beverage giants have found themselves in hot water over public health issues. Just last month, Coca Cola launched a deceptive new ad campaign attempting to mask the harmful effects of calorie-laden sodas on America’s obesity and diabetes epidemics.