SBD/November 4, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

SodaStream To Return To Super Bowl With "Edgy" Ad Taking On Coca-Cola, Pepsi

SodaStream wanted to follow any Coke and Pepsi ads during the Super Bowl
SodaStream is "headed back to the Super Bowl, where it plans to take direct aim at Coke and Pepsi with a 30-second ad in the fourth quarter" of Fox' broadcast of the game, according to E.J. Schultz of AD AGE. The ad "has not been submitted for approval because it is still in development." SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said, "It will be edgy because that is who we are." The company "has not picked an agency" for the spot. Birnbaum said that Crispin Porter + Bogusky Founder Alex Bogusky, who worked on the company's '13 ad, is "on the company's short list." Birnbaum said that SodaStream "sought a fourth-quarter time slot because it wanted to follow any Coke and Pepsi ads." PepsiCo is "sponsoring halftime and is planning to air two 30-second beverage ads, while Coca-Cola has yet to confirm its Super Bowl plans." Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have been "under attack for the role their products play in obesity." SodaStream "promotes its flavors as having less sugar, calories, carbohydrates and sodium than traditional sodas." Fox is "expected to fetch roughly" $4M for a 30-second Super Bowl spot. Birnbaum said that the amount "roughly equals what SodaStream typically pays for TV advertising over three months in the U.S." He said the Super Bowl investment is a "big decision" and "we don't take it lightly." But he added the move is "bigger than the money" (, 11/1).

IN OR OUT? Schultz writes running a Super Bowl spot "just might be the most expensive and high-risk decision in all of advertising." For every "success story," there is a "high-profile flop like Groupon's much-criticized ad" in '11 "making light of the plight of Tibet." Meanwhile, the '14 Sochi Games present "a variable that's been absent" since '10. The Olympics "begin just five days after the Super Bowl, giving marketers another marquee event for their winter ad dollars." Century 21 is "among those choosing to invest in the weeks-long spectacle over the one big night." But for many brands, "nothing compares to the domestic reach of the Super Bowl." The event has "proved to be a great venue for smaller brands." Birnbaum said that SodaStream "credits its 2013 ad with helping grow distribution to about 16,000 stores from roughly 10,000." Wonderful Pistachios also is returning in '14 "after making its Super Bowl debut" in '13. Paramount Farms VP/Marketing Marc Segiun said that because the company's Wonderful Pistachios brand "ran limited TV ads in the winter period, it was able to directly link an 18% sales gain to the in-game ad." Subway CMO Tony Pace said that the company "is planning a big Olympic presence" instead of placement during the Super Bowl. Pace said, "You can make an argument that the total cumulative audience across the Winter Olympics is actually bigger than what you are going to get in the Super Bowl" (AD AGE, 11/4 issue).
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