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On Friday night in New York City, a group of fashion journalists gathered at a SodaStream event with Scarlett Johansson in order to find out what they were doing at a SodaStream event with Scarlett Johansson. Notes were compared: Scarlett was rumored to be doing a commercial; the commercial was set to drop during a major TV event; everyone assumed it would be the Super Bowl.
With the "what" mystery solved, the international crowd (many Israelis, multiple Belgians) turned their attention to the question of why. Was SodaStream aiming to appeal to more men? Was ScarJo trying to branch out from endorsing Dolce & Gabbana and beauty products? And why were so many fashion people invited to a party for an appliance? The answer turned out to be surprisingly uncomplicated: Scarlet Johansson just really loves SodaStream.
At least, that's how she and the company's CEO, Daniel Birnbaum, explain the partnership. According to Birnbaum, Johansson first contacted the company anonymously, as a simple Paris-based user looking for a CO2 carbonator. The Paris office helped her out, and a week later Birnbaum got a thank-you note signed "SJ." Fast-forward a few months, and Johansson is now the brand's global ambassador and—as Birnbaum puts it—"First Lady." And she is indeed doing a commercial for the company during the Super Bowl.
The ad remains under wraps, but here's some behind-the-scenes footage of ScarJo talking about bubbles.
Birnbaum says the idea for the ad was in place before ScarJo came along. The New York Times offers some context: Last year, the company tried to call out rivals Coke and Pepsi by name, but CBS refused to air a commercial denigrating the other brands. SodaStream wound up running another ad, and this time around, their approach seems to be less confrontational.
Birnbaum wouldn't reveal details, but he suggested that having a bombshell celebrity fan is a secret weapon of sorts. "We're a very small company and we're competing with Coca Cola and Pepsi and they have huge budgets. In fact, my annual marketing budget is what they will spend in one day. So how can you compete? We need to be very creative, and Scarlett is helping us be very creative."
The fashion angle seems to be the look of the ad itself. "I'm just kind of casual backstage," Scarlet told us, "and then there's this big reveal. It's just very glammy and super sexy—an Old Hollywood glamour look." So will this make SodaStream the next hot fashion-world beverage—a low-cal challenger to green juice and Diet Coke? "I don't know if it's necessary fashionable," she said, "but I'd like it to be."
· SodaStream to Bring Some Heat to Super Bowl Ad With Scarlett Johansson [NYT]
· All Scarlett Johansson coverage [Racked]