The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

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By Fiona Hope

February 4, 2013 | 3 min read

Fiona Hope, SodaStream UK MD, discusses the banned 'Game Changer' ad.

Since our planned Super Bowl advert ‘Game Changer’ was banned from transmission across the CBS network in the United States, the sense of public feeling and overwhelming support for the campaign has sky-rocketed throughout the online community. Following upload to our YouTube channel on Sunday night, the thought-provoking spot, which sends up the friendly rivalry between soft drinks brands, has gone viral and has already been viewed by over 3.7 million people around the world.

In ‘Game Changer’, rival drivers from the two largest ‘Big Soda’ brands face off in a supermarket parking lot. Preparing for delivery, they stack their soda cases one atop the other, their pace quickening, until they break into a sprint, feverishly trying to beat the other to the supermarket’s front door. In a flash, their plastic bottles disappear, thanks to SodaStream. The voiceover states that "with SodaStream, we could have saved 500 million bottles on Game Day alone."

A Super Bowl ad spot is one of the most influential platforms from which to tell a brand story and we were passionate about delivering our sustainability message to the US audience. We understand that the 'Game Changer' may be uncomfortable to leading soft drinks companies, but we are proud of the ad and the truth that it brings to the American consumer. With 500 million bottles and cans manufactured every day in the US and less than 50 per cent being recycled, we must take action to reduce the environmental impact of plastic bottles and cans.

As ‘Game Changer’ was not permitted to run on CBS, an alternative spot ‘The SodaStream Effect’ ran instead. Conveying the same idea that there exists a smarter way to enjoy sparkling drinks in the 21st century.

In the UK, we are still fighting a campaign ban of our own on ‘The SodaStream Effect’, which was refused clearance for transmission back in November by Clearcast , due to its apparent ‘denigration of the soft drinks industry’. We maintain the advertising code was incorrectly applied by Clearcast and are continuing to take steps with our legal team to get the ruling overturned.