The Super Bowl and SodaStream Ad

sodaConversion Rate:  A Monthly Column from a DC Young Professional on the Israeli Economy (and other Misc thoughts…)

It has been a couple years since I was a finalist for GTJ’s Jewish Guy of the Year.  Although my rap skills haven’t improved much since then, I’ve definitely explored a lot of what the DC Jewish community has to offer.  I’ve been to many young pro trivia nights at Sixth & I.  I’ve networked at Jewish Federation of Greater Washington programs.  I’ve visited countless embassies and the United Nations through B’nai B’rith to advocate on behalf of the global Jewish community.  I helped the DCJCC host a great Hanukkah on the Hill and was a part of the team that raised $20k at the Falafel Frenzy to fight hunger in DC.  I’ve begun to make a direct investment in the Jewish State’s future – and my own – through purchasing Israel Bonds. I’ve lobbied on behalf of Israel through AIPAC. And I adopted a dog and renamed him Shekels.

Last Sunday I watched the Super Bowl with Shekels. Our first together.  Seattle’s defense was simply impressive.  I watched a lot of Seahawks games throughout the season as I had Marshawn Lynch on my fantasy team. Beast Mode helped me get to the finals, but I didn’t win.  I also watched a lot of Broncos games because Peyton’s season was historic.  What I picked up from the Seahawks season and their Super Bowl performance was that sometimes a good defense is a good offense. Richard Sherman.

So as I’m watching the Super Bowl and anticipating the SodaStream commercial with Scarlett Johansson, I was wondering what all of the hype was about… I had streamed — no pun intended — the banned commercial ahead of the game, which now has nearly 12 million views on SodaStream’s YouTube Channel.  And I had been keeping myself up-to-date on Johansson’s comments against BDS and the decision that she made to step down as an Oxfam Ambassador for their hard-line stance.  But what was all of the hype about???

Johannson describes SodaStream as, “a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights.”

I was at a loss – like my fantasy football team and the Denver Broncos.  How was Scarlett Johannson put on the defense for supporting an Israeli company, competing in the global market, providing jobs to Palestinians?  The company’s Super Bowl commercial was not political at all.  And if it was, the political statement would be a positive one of equality and opportunity.

Controversy sells though.  And all of the added hype has given SodaStream considerable free earned media – on top of their Super Bowl ad time.  And to add to my earlier list of DC Jewish accomplishments that I’m proud of, these commercials and Scarlett Johansson’s pretty face has also created one more sale of SodaStream.  They’re now on the offense because I am looking forward to support a local small business in DC and an Israeli company as I head to Eastern Market to pick up a SodaStream at Hill’s Kitchen this weekend.  Who’s with me?