I love this recent story about the banned Soda Stream Super Bowl ad.
Obviously Coke and Pepsi are the monster sponsors for the big show and CBS doesn’t want those dudes mad. I can see Coke and Pepsi being pissed off too, showing their bottles exploding everywhere and the 2 delivery guys looking like eco-destroying doofs. But I find it funny when commercials are BANNED in the digital age.
The networks feel totally helpless in these situations – because they are. All they can do is rely on old protocol. CODE RED! Ban the commercial! Sure banning a commercial worked like a charm pre-internet. But now? You ban something now and the first thing the public does is hunt for it online to see what all the hub-a-lub is about. Then it just grows. It goes beyond water cooler chatter to full blown, in depth online discussions and tweets and posts and comments and so on. Banning the commercial was the best thing that happened for the Soda Stream brand. If this ad ran during the Super Bowl, you might remember it, you might not. You certainly wouldn’t be talking about it with your buddies or writing a blog about it. But once CBS tried to put the commercial into lockup – that was it. I’m sure the moment this happened, Soda Stream and ad creator Alex Bogusky just smiled, said “ok – thanks for saving us $3.5 million in ad spending!” and then just pasted it all over the web and waited. Good God, even on their corporate website they have the spot front and center saying “Look at the ad they didn’t want you to see!” http://www.sodastream.ca/ Now everyone is talking about a simple machine that makes bubbles in your beverage.
In the digital era, once a genie is out of plastic bottle, it’s pretty damn hard to put him back in.