Sisterhood Blog

ScarJo's Other SodaStream Problem: The Sexist Ad

By Elissa Strauss

  • Print
  • Share Share

No matter where you stand on Israeli politics, it’s hard not to see Scarlett Johansson’s decision to become a spokesperson for SodaStream as a bold choice.

Unfortunately, this boldness didn’t make its way into the commercial itself. Instead, the ad relies on the most cliche, ickily retro advertising tropes imaginable.

If you are reading this you have probably have already seen the spot. If not, spare yourself the 33 seconds and allow me to summarize. We meet Johansson on a set, where she is wearing a full face of make-up and a crisp, white robe. She runs through the environmental and health benefits of the product, and then, changing gears to a more girlish voice, says “if only I could make this message go viral.”

The robe slips off, baritone-voiced soul music pipes in, and Johansson walks up to a stage where she begins to make out with her straw, coming up for air only to say “sorry Coke and Pepsi” in a tone that suggests she is bidding adieu to aggrieved ex-lovers. Yech.

The commercial’s campy vibe suggests that its makers were trying to play it light and kitschy — it’s possible they even thought that they were making fun of using sex to sell something, all the while knowing they were using sex to sell something. Ya know, they were having their (possibly illegal) soda water and drinking it too.

Except the irony, if even intended, doesn’t really come through. What is clear, however, is Johansson’s pillowy lips moving up and down a straw and, well, that’s enough. The woman played a cyborg with very believable sex appeal. You know what she is capable of.

There is a lot riding on this campaign, for Johannson and the company. They must have spent a lot of money on the sultry-voiced actress, and she gambled some serious political capital aligning herself with a business that is based behind the Green Line.

What SodaStream’s got going for it, location of one of its factory aside, is it’s progressive values. It’s product represents a greener future, a more progressive and mindful way to live, all the while Coke and Pepsi are still wasting fossil fuels shipping sugar water around the world. Too bad then that this commercial, its big attempt to go mainstream, didn’t message any of those forward thinking values. Instead, they came off looking just like all the those sugar-water peddlers they so desire to eclipse.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: BDS, Green Line, Israel, Israelis, Jewish, Palestine, Palestinians, Scarlett Johansson, SodaStream, West Bank, sexism

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.