Scarlett Johansson’s Banned Super Bowl Ad Pops Online

Marketers love a good controversy, and SodaStream is taking advantage of a few rules from the NFL that will prevent an initial cut of its $4 million commercial from airing during the Super Bowl. The flipside, its uncensored ad could be watched by more people online even before this weekend’s big game.

In the spot for the maker of home soda machines, Scarlett Johansson stands with the device while wearing a robe.

“If only I could make this message go viral,” Johansson says before dropping the robe and taking a stage to provocatively sip on the drink she just made.

The spot ends with her saying, “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.”

And that’s where the NFL tossed the penalty flag.

With Pepsi sponsoring the halftime show, Fox, which is broadcasting the game, asked SodaStream to edit the ad and eliminate the last line. The edited version will now air during the match up between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos on Feb. 2.

“This is the kind of stuff that happens in China. I’m disappointed as an American,” SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum told USA Today, after claiming Fox and the NFL were afraid of Coke and Pepsi.

SodaStream has been in this position before, when its planned Super Bowl spot that included shots of a Pepsi and Coke delivery truck was also banned.

But SodaStream could benefit from its fumble in a big way.

With short-form videos finding massive audiences online, SodaStream could have a huge hit on its hand with its banned spot. Already, the uncensored version has been viewed nearly 1.7 million times on its YouTube page.

Looks like Johansson and SodaStream will get their wish of going viral after all.

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  1. Fenton Michael S. says:

    What am I missing? She’s cute, it’s a good ad for another soft drink. As I recall Mikey Jackson was grabbing his crotch on a few Pepsi ads, so a woman drinking through a straw will cause the moral decay of the super bowl watchers?

  2. keithmoore1 says:

    Seriously? I’ve seen Coke and Pepsi ads throwing punches at each other in their own ads for decades! Why does Sodastream get censored? Oh yeah…money.

  3. David Tirado says:

    Pepsi and Coke are VERY, VERY afraid that SodaStream will take the limelight away from them..hence why this ad was both edited and banned..not so sad for Pepsi and/or Coke

  4. Bob C. says:

    What a stupid decision!! What a lucky break for SodaStream!

  5. Lettymontana says:

    The way I see it SodaStream won. Now they don’t have to pay the exorbitant ad fee. Right?

  6. verki says:

    It is “better” for you?

  7. Jim says:

    The problem with SodaStream is that it doesn’t save any money over buying regular soda on sale.

  8. grammar judge says:

    Now if only they could get the grammar correct and say less sugar FEWER bottles! $4 million and they couldn’t find an educated person to approve the script?

  9. sj says:

    Shameful…I won’t be watching the Super Bowl or drinking Coke or Pepsi. The American people can make up their own minds if they want to drink soda stream, pepsi or coke…afraid…realllllly?!

  10. pouletnoir says:

    Yeah. That wasn’t intentional. Well done, Marc Graser, for sucking that one up.

  11. Claire Bayer says:

    “This is the kind of stuff that happens in China. I’m disappointed as an American,” SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum told USA Today, after claiming Fox and the NFL were afraid of Coke and Pepsi.

    LOL, no. This isn’t the stuff that happens in China. This is corporate, pal.

  12. Jenny says:

    Well, duh, obviously the Superbowl isn’t going to allow a snub at one of their biggest sponsors……that was a bad move on Soda Stream’s part…….the commercial isn’t that great either……oh well.

  13. glory says:

    Who cares?

  14. Babe says:

    If those in charge would just have allowed the commercial to play unedited, it probably wouldn’t have caused anyone to be shocked since that last line was barely audible.

  15. Steph says:

    That commercial was just horrible.

    • Tony says:

      Agreed, Steph. From the mush-mouthed line readings (“Like most doctors…”? Ohhhh, “actors”) to the not especially sexy stuff with the faux-Shaft voiceover, there’s nothing clever or memorable about it. I’m not sure why they wasted money on a name spokesperson.

    • Gray Jay says:


      It seemed fine to me. It’s selling a product that competes with the major brands of carbonated drinks, and commenting that the Big Two should be worried. What’s so bad about that?

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