The Product: SodaStream personal soda makers
The Premise: Scarlett Johansson is a soda scientist, and she’s trying to find the best way for her message about SodaStream’s environmentally friendly, healthy sodas to go viral.
The Punchline: Conveniently, she is Scarlett Johansson — so it’s not too difficult to get people to pay attention, especially when she’s sucking seductively on a straw.
The Verdict: This hasn’t been a good week for SodaStream or Johansson. For the second year in a row, SodaStream has had its ad censored by the networks — the original ad contained a dig at Pepsi and Coke that had to be edited out because Pepsi is the sponsor of the halftime show (plus, they’re no fools — SodaStream knew they’d be able to rebrand the ad as “Scarlett Johansson uncensored” and let the pageviews roll in). You can see the unedited version, which packs more of a punch, here. But that has been overshadowed by an even bigger controversy. Critics have spoken out about SodaStream’s factory in the West Bank, which caused the actress to resign as an Oxfam ambassador over the conflict of interest. Max Fischer has more on the controversy in WorldViews.