Saturday, February 1, 2014

Actress Scarlett Johansson Banned From SuperBowl

Well she's not actually been banned from being at the game, but the SodaStream ad featuring actress Scarlett Johansson has been banned from airing during the television broadcast of the SuperBowl.  SodaStream, which manufactures machines that allow people to make their own carbonated soda beverages at home, planned on having Johansson seductively pitch their product during a tv commercial on FOX's broadcast of the big game.  Fox has banned the advertisement from airing though.  Check it out:

FOX claims the advertisement is too HOT for TV, but not because of any sultry scenes.  Rather the commercial breaks a network rule of not letting products criticize competitors, at least ones that have also purchased ad time, in commercials during the SuperBowl broadcast.  So they yanked this SodaStream ad from the game night commercial rotation because Johansson ends it with "Sorry Coke & Pepsi". 

Hmmm I do believe though that I've seen Pepsi & Coke poke fun at each other in their ads before during the game.  Could it be that the network didn't want to touch another HOT topic when it comes to this advertisement, the potential flare up from special interest groups that don't like the company SODA STREAM.  SodaStream's machines are build and imported to the United States from Israel, which wouldn't be a big deal except that the manufacturing facilities are located in contested territory of the West Bank and therefore made the business a target of criticism by some Arab advocacy, charitable, and constituency groups.  Scarlot Johansson has already been publicly criticized for her endorsement of this company by several of these groups. A conspiracy theorist might take from this that maybe rather than the content of the commercial being blocked but rather the NFL and FOX wanting to stay clear of any association to this Mid East conflict. Of course I'm not a conspiracy theorist so that is probably nonsense ... or is it?  

The ban of the SodaStream ad was probably a good thing though because their "SuperBowl" tv commercial really isn't very good and it is probably getting more attention now than it would have from airing during the big game because of the controversy.  This has been a controversy filled week for the actress who was also involved with complaints from women's issues and health care advocacy groups criticizing the newly released Captain America movie poster.  Critics contend Johansson's portrayal in the poster was photoshopped to give her an un-naturally small waist and argue that this markets an unhealthy societal image for women and girls.  What do you think of the poster?

When you see advertisements for products during the SuperBowl or posters for movies do you look at the bigger picture regarding issues like have been brought up with these two marketing pieces or do you just focus on the products being promoted in the ad?  Something to think about as we're about to be flooded with promotional messages on February 2nd as every marketer that has an opportunity tries to grab a second of your attention during the biggest television viewing audience of the year to make an impression for their client.

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