Home carbonated beverage maker SodaStream has been around since the 1980s. Surprised, right? Unless you grew up in Europe (in the '80s SodaStream had 40% market penetration in the UK), you probably thought the company started around the time Mark Zuckerberg left college, if that. And there's a good chance that if you know about the brand it's because the Airport City, Israel-based company has been promoting its devices at the grassroots level as a solution to the global PET problem -- the Earth-choking proliferation of plastic soda bottles.
The company is now using a bullhorn to build awareness. A global $18 million campaign -- its first -- touts the brand as a maker of carbon-footprint and family soda-budget shrinkers, not to mention of cool lifestyle devices. That's a big change from the more traditional fun and/or ersatz home-appliance approach -- typical for the sector -- that it has used in the past. With the new TV, print, OOH, radio and Web campaign, the company is also taking a moral stand against the big dogs in beverages as spewers of plastic bottles.
The TV spot, "The SodaStream Effect," makes the point that home carbonation essentially removes plastic soda bottles from the environment. It breaks on national and cable on Nov. 12 in the U.S. It will also air in many of the company's 45 global markets including Australia, Czech Republic and several Nordic countries. Next year, the effort expands throughout Europe. The ad shows different scenes of soda bottles disappearing instantaneously as people use the SodaStream soda maker. It closes with the commentary, "With SodaStream, you can save 2,000 bottles per year." There's also a new tag: "If you love the bubbles, set them free."
The rebranding campaign, via The Common Agency, whose creative chief is Alex Bogusky of CP+B fame, includes a logo redesign and a new, sleeker look for its carbonator, via designer Yves Béhar. In the U.S., the campaign also addresses the national obesity epidemic and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign against oversized sodas. The idea is to get consumers to cut back on the sugar and try home-based carbonation.
"I think we are at the stage of moving from a product focus to brand building, to compete with store-bought soda," says Ilan Nacasch, CMO of SodaStream International, adding that in addition to confronting Big Soda, the campaign establishes SodaStream as an aspirational lifestyle brand. "And that's why we have changed the logo, the visual identity, and the design of the product, combining beauty and functionality."
He tells Marketing Daily that the company is also touting SodaStream homemade fizz as containing one-third the calories of store-bought sodas (although one can use the device to carbonate anything, presumably) and that the brand is a leader in introducing stevia as a natural sweetener.
"There are many benefits, but we chose one [for the global campaign] that really makes us stand out," he says of the green focus. Buyers around the world, he adds, have been early adopters, and health-conscious consumers. Another cohort, he says, are big families who are heavy users of sodas and looking for a money-saving alternative. "For them, soda is a big part of their budget."