SodaStream has returned to The Mountain — and Game of Thrones mania — to drive home its brand stance against plastic bottles — with a wink, of course. SodaStream is known for its carbonated water technology, but it’s increasingly becoming known for its witty campaigns, as this latest effort proves.
The brand is gaining an enviable reputation for its brand campaigns thanks to The Mountain, a character on HBO’s Game of Thrones who’s beloved to fans.
Attracting almost 2 million views just for the hero ad in English in four days, the latest collaboration between SodaStream and Hafthor “Thor” Julius Bjornsson will leave you smiling, as it’s intended to do. It’s also a cherry on the top of an excellent recent business performance for the brand.
Appearing in his role as Sir Gregor “The Mountain That Rides” Clegane, Bjornsson joins with the character “The Septa” (The Sparrow’s right hand on Game of Thrones) to yell “Shame” at a runner on a film set who has gone to pick up water — to find that his purchase of bottled water summons a bell-ringing throwback to Cersei’s walk of shame and a public shaming, before coming upon — The Mountain.
Said bottled water user is humiliated with references to Mother Earth, peanuts and even Matthew McConnaughey. Bjornsson concludes his rant with his SodaStream motto, “F**k Plastic Bottles.” It’s the same tagline he used in his earlier SodaStream spoof ad this year, HeavyBubbles™.
“You can walk the path of shame—carrying heavy plastic bottles from the supermarket like a caveman and polluting the oceans, killing adorable baby dolphins with every filthy plastic bottle thrown away—OR the Path of Glory. Start using the economical, fresh and environmentally SodaStream machine to make delicious sparkling water at home with a touch of a button.”
— Hafþór J Björnsson (@ThorBjornsson_) November 17, 2016
There may be more to come as the latest video published on the “Shame or Glory” YouTube page is a message from The Mountain saying he is coming for French TV host Cyril Hanouna. Bjornsson also provoked Hanouna on his Twitter feed with his go-to SodaStream motto hashtag.
This message victory follows closely to SodaStream’s rejuvenated brand. It was less than two years ago when the New York Times announced “SodaStream Hits Reset as Its Sales and Profit Fall.” Calling the brand a once-hot device, the Times described a struggling business whose sales continued to slide since their 2013 peak.
But in its recent Q3 report, SodaStream announced that revenues were up 13%, to $124.2 million. And after years of concerns, SodaStream also announced that it saw its highest quarterly unit sales of its soda maker machines in two years.
The SodaStream brand is attacking consumers’ (particularly millennials) consciences on two fronts. First, there is the plastic bottle waste message joked about in the “Shame” campaign. Plastic is not having a good year in the consumer consciousness. In the UK, plastic pollution data has recently made for big headlines. On the other side of the Atlantic, California just passed a plastic bag ban.
And in the spirit of the season, the brand released “No Planet, No Christmas” —
In addition to wooing Game of Thrones fans in between seasons, SodaStream is also capitalizing on consumers’ move away from sugary sodas. As soft drink consumption plummets to its lowest levels in 30 years, SodaStream has pivoted to focus on its core carbonated water business.
Even SodaStream has seen the drastic move away from sugary drinks as its sales of CO2 refills are up almost 10% even as its sales of sweetened flavor cartridges dropped almost 20%.
The dislike for plastic is global, as is the popularity of Game of Thrones and SodaStream. So it’s no surprise to see the new “Shame” campaign is offered in languages including German, English and Hebrew—which makes sense, as the brand originates in Israel. (You didn’t know that? Then shame on you!) It’s all in good fun, as the actors clearly enjoyed their experience working with the brand: