Can the Super Bowl and Scarlett Johansson Refresh SodaStream?

Scarlett Johansson SodaStream Partnership
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStreamSodaStream unveiled Scarlett Johansson as its first Global Brand Ambassador on Jan. 10. That ought to put some fizz in its marketing.
Shares of SodaStream (SODA) surrendered 26 percent of their value on Monday after the company behind the namesake maker of home carbonated-beverage machines warned that its holiday quarter was as flat as a soda that's been left on the counter for too long.

Now, with weaker than expected revenue growth, SodaStream expects to barely break even in the fourth quarter.

The market's naturally down on SodaStream this week, but it's important to remember that its products are more popular than ever. The Israeli-based company still expects to grow its sales by 26 percent this quarter. It just has a few operating issues to address on the way down to the bottom line.

Thankfully it has a plan to bounce back -- a plan that involves Scarlett Johansson, SodaCaps, and the Super Bowl.

Scarlett is the New Red

Johansson was tapped as SodaStream's first-ever Global Brand Ambassador over the weekend, and the move came at a moment when the company could really use a vocal celebrity backer.

Let's face it: The stock hit a 52-week low after Monday's profit warning. The arrival on SodaStream's team of the celebrity whom Esquire magazine last year called "The Sexiest Woman Alive" can only help matters.

"I've been using the SodaStream products myself and giving them as gifts for many, many years," Johansson said in the press release announcing her new association with SodaStream. "The company's commitment to a healthier body and a healthier planet is a perfect fit for me. I love that the product can be tailored to any lifestyle and palate. The partnership between me and SodaStream is a no brainer."

Meanwhile, Back on the Football Field...

SodaStream turned heads last year with its first Super Bowl ad, and this year it's buying another spot, for a commercial it filmed last week -- starring Johansson, of course.

It's not likely to be as controversial as SodaStream's first shot at a Super Bowl commercial. The ad it originally submitted for airing last year was a parody of the old Coca-Cola (KO) and PepsiCo (PEP) ads in which delivery drivers for the two soda giants tried to upstage each other.

Three's a crowd, apparently: CBS decided to nix the spot since it attacked two of its most lucrative advertisers. It was just as well. The ban got SodaStream plenty of free publicity for the commercial, which has now topped 5 million views on YouTube.

It's unlikely that the company would film a commercial starring Johansson if they thought it wouldn't air, so this year, they've probably played it safe. The Super Bowl is the country's most watched televised event, and SodaStream wants to get noticed.

All Caps

Details of the ad are being kept under wraps, but publicity stills show Johansson next to a SodaStream appliance, as well as the company's latest innovation: single-use SodaCaps.

SodaCaps are intended to attract SodaStream owners who are either casual users and don't need entire syrup bottles, or active users who usually prefer unflavored seltzer. Unlike the SodaStream syrup bottles, which offer several servings worth of a flavor, a SodaCaps capsule contains just enough syrup to flavor a single liter of carbonated water. They're simple. They're not messy. They're disposable.

Naturally, there's more money to be made by selling SodaCaps -- per serving -- than there is through the original flavor bottles. They also allow users a cheaper way to acquire a broad variety of flavors. Flavor sales actually declined in the U.S. in SodaStream's third quarter, and it doesn't seem as if the category did all that well in its latest quarter.

If SodaStream bounces back in 2014, SodaCaps will be a major factor in the revival.

SodaCaps, Johansson, and the Super Bowl will all come together on Feb. 2. We'll see if the combination adds some fizz to its flat share price.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of SodaStream. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and SodaStream. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and SodaStream. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.

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January 18 2014 at 4:34 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

isnt this kinda like buying a can os shasta for half waht you give for coke , but then with shasta yhou only get half the taste.. .... i have seen these prodcuts before, dont think it willl ever be big in the usa..

January 16 2014 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why have this article left out the most likely reason for the decrease in sales? There is a boycott of SodaStream for the location of its factory in illegally occupied territories and then the labeling of its products as erroneously "Made in Israel". This is way beyond a lack of advertising -- surely the writer Googled SodaStream before writing this article - Code Pink, the Jewish Daily Forward, BDS campaigns everywhere have reported on this.

January 16 2014 at 12:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

In the 1930's my uncle Henry was the Willy Wonka of soft drinks (New Jersey) - while working in his plant, my dad invented Yoo Hoo chocolate drink. My uncle Henry would go on safaris in the Amazon jungle to search for new flavors. He'd bring back rare animals and plants which he had on his estate in Coral Gables, Florida. Going to his house as a boy was incredible especially tasting the chutnies, the aromas, the strange plants and creatures he had for pets.

Here's the insider scoop on this: Injecting CO2 into water basically makes it into carbonated water. You can buy your water already carbonated - Club Soda is carbonated water. You don't need a dangerous machine to make Club Soda, you can buy it right off the shelf in the market.
Simply add your flavors right to your glass of Club Soda.
Here are some insider tips: try not to agitate the Club Soda. Disturbing the CO2 - H2O link releases the CO2. The colder the Club Soda is, the better it will "hold" onto the CO2. (You want the CO2 to release when it reaches your tongue.)
To keep the most "gas" in your custom made soft drink make it like this:
chill a 2 litre bottle of Club Soda as cold as your fridge setting will go - 42 o F is great. Cold hold the CO2 in better.
Move the bottle from your fridge to your counter top very slowy. Gently open the cap and slowly pour off just enough of the Club Soda to create space to add your also super cold flavor.
Tightly re-cap the bottle and gently rock the bottle on its side until the flavor mixes-in. Don't stir it, or shake it.
Return the bottle to your fridge and give the flavor time to combine. Then serve it.
This will give you a beverage with the most sparkle or as my dad called it "bite" to it.

January 16 2014 at 5:58 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Since the first time I saw a commercial for this product, I thought it was one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. Only a moron would buy this contraption. Scarlett Johansson can't save a completely idiotic product such as this. And if she is really giving it as gifts to people, then she's an idiot too!

January 15 2014 at 10:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to suzdro54's comment

suzdro, After reading your comment I guess I am a moron now because I did buy a soda stream almost 4 years ago and I Being disabled, not having to lift those cases of soda makes my life easier. It has substantially cut back my cost of soda, it's cost effective in that I was paying up tp $4.29 per 12 pack cans. One bottle of soda tream flavoring cost $4.99 per bottle which makes an equivalent of 33 cans ($12.87 per 36 cans).. It is also fresh and I now have little recycling as I'm no longer having to lug all those empty soda cans to the curb. (I used to have 2 recycling cans full but now down to 1/2 can. The soda taste good, has a nice variety of flavors and can be made whenever the soda mood hits without having to run to the store for it. I've used the soda stream at the homes of friends and they all liked the taste. And it was fun making soda at a church BBQ where we usually run out of sodas but with the soda stream and syrups we never ran out this past summer. It was a hit at the BBQ's. I also like the idea that I have full control over how much syrup to use, thus I control how sweet to make it, a little or a lot. I would never trade it in for anything. I did my homework before purchasing to make sure it was cost effective and I used sample size flavorings to see what was good so I would know which flavors to buy in the larger $4.99 bottle. So, if I have to be a moron as you state, at least I can say I'm a smart financial moron.

January 16 2014 at 3:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to joscott911's comment

Did so checking on the costs and found this:
co2 14.99 per container /makes 60 = .25 per liter
mix 7.00 per container/makes 12 liters = .58 per liter

.83 per liter equals .30 per 12oz. can
Does not include the minimum $80.00 cost of machine, $16.00 for 2 extra bottles and $30.00 for spare can of co2

Cost for 2 liter bottle by me is typically >......ytyeu90

January 18 2014 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

I predict a major terrorist event at this Super Bowl.....

January 15 2014 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jimmy_branch's comment

I predict the sun will come up tomorrow.

January 15 2014 at 7:50 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Their syrup alone cost more than buying soda in bottles or cans.
Thy wont last very long- its all a ripoff.

January 15 2014 at 7:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I love my Sodastream, but I wouldn't dream of using their syrups. Even the "regular" flavors use fake sugars, and all of the fake sugars are poison to the body. Google around, you will find really good syrups that only use real sugar. Or pour some orange juice or nectar into the sparkling water. There is SO much you can do with it, but don't count on "saving money." You don't save money by having to buy expensive syrups and CO2 cartridges. You use sodastream because it is FUN. And refreshing. And when you DO use syrups, here's a tip: pour the fresh sparkling water into a glass (we use "icee mugs," keep them in the freezer ready for use.) After the water, pour in the syrup to taste. That way, everyone can choose their own flavor.

January 15 2014 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


January 15 2014 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jimmy_branch's comment

Aren't YOU just a person with no life.

January 15 2014 at 5:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Samra

I hear on that Jimmy.

January 15 2014 at 6:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply