SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA ) has been able to grow into a powerful consumer brand in recent years without paid celebrity endorsements, but that will change after next month's Super Bowl game.
Scarlett Johansson is being brought on as SodaStream's first-ever Global Brand Ambassador, and she will also be starring in this year's Super Bowl ad. Landing one of Hollywood's most popular actresses is a pretty big catch for SodaStream. Three months ago, Johansson was named Esquire magazine's sexiest woman alive, an annual title that the magazine first bestowed on her in 2006.
A big key in getting Johansson on board is that she's also a fan of the product.
"I've been using the SodaStream products myself and giving them as gifts for many, many years," she says in Saturday's press release. "The company's commitment to a healthier body and a healthier planet is a perfect fit for me."
The "healthier body" comment is in reference to the non-diet flavors that contain just a third of the calories, sugar, and carbs as Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) and PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP ) products. There's also no high-fructose corn syrup in the flavors. The "healthier planet" comment refers to the eco-friendly nature of the reusable bottles relative to what Coke and Pepsi have to do in getting their products to consumers.
We've seen celebrity endorsers say a lot of things that aren't true over the years, but there's no point in risking the credibility of one Hollywood's biggest celebrities by fibbing to land a commercial. It's a safe bet that Johansson really is a big fan of the product, and that's why this relationship will extend beyond the Super Bowl on Feb. 2.
This isn't the first time SodaStream is making a big splash ahead of the Super Bowl. It invested in a spot last year, only to have to replace it when CBS banned the commercial. The ad attacked Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, and the two pop stars are too influential as advertisers to be practically called out by name. SodaStream called an audible, checking down to an earlier ad that did make the cut.
It isn't likely to risk getting nixed this time around. Playing the GoDaddy card to court controversy may have worked last year -- the banned SodaStream ad has now topped 5 million views on YouTube -- but it's not going to want to have to pull a spot starring its new brand ambassador.
This is a smart move for SodaStream, and it comes at a time when the stock has fallen sharply since peaking last June. Soft sales of syrup in North America spooked investors in its most recent quarter, and Johansson's presence can only help turn that trend around.
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