Super Bowl Commercial Power Rankings: Scarlett Johansson Ad Is Censored, But It’s Not What You Think

  • Rick Chandler

Yeah, we should have know what she was doing from the beginning. Below is the full SodaStream Super Bowl commercial starring Scarlett Johansson, and you must be wondering, A. Why leak the whole thing now? And, B. How can they get away with their tag line: “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.”?

The answer is, they can’t. What SodaStream did is very clever, although certainly not unprecedented (they did it last year, as a matter of fact). After initially rejecting the ad, FOX has now accepted it after SodaStream agreed to take out the Coke and Pepsi line. Because it takes pretty direct shots at Coke and Pepsi, which are huge Super Bowl sponsors. Stepping on those corporate toes would certainly not be allowed.

“One of the lines of the ad was asked to the removed,” wrote SodaStream spokeswoman Nirit Hurwitz, in an email to CNNMoney, identifying the rejected line as: “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.”

So now the Israeli brand has some free viral publicity via YouTube, six full days before the ad even airs. Plus having Johansson in a skimpy cocktail dress sipping on a straw doesn’t hurt. Then there’s the whole Palestinian factor (the company’s factory is in the occupied West Bank).

Well played by SodaStream once again: although morally questionable all the way around.

But all’s fair in love and soda, apparently.

Here are the updated power rankings, which will be presented each weekday as new trailers debut:

1. Axe Body Spray. In “Axe Peace: Make Love, Not War”, Axe poses the eternal question: what if all the world’s most war-loving leaders and their minions all started the day with a refreshing dose of scented liquid? Included here I see, apparently, is the Vietnam War, which predates Axe by a full decade. Better idea for that spot: how about Chris Christie getting sprayed down (shudder), then canceling the George Washington Bridge closure?

2. Jaguar USA. A short teaser for their “British Villains” spot, which proves what I’ve been saying for the past two years: Tom Hiddleston needs to be the villain in every movie from now on.

3. Dannon Oikos Yogurt. The terrifyingly surreal quality of this commercial cannot be understated — I think each one of us at one time has awaken in a cold sweat having dreamed just such a scenario. You and your former roommates, now in late middle age, all still living together. And the image of Dave Coulier in footy pajamas is just too jarring for network TV, in my opinion. Anyway, the three “Full House” stars are reuniting for multiple ads during the game (John Stamos has been a spokesman for Dannon for the past couple of years). Good luck getting to sleep tonight.

4. Toyota Highlander. This whole thing seems ominous, foreboding and hopefully funny. The mind runs wild with ideas, among them a stranded, desperately hungry Miss Piggy making a small meal out of Kermit.

Toyota is taking its “Let’s Go Places” theme into the Super Bowl with an ad featuring Terry Crews — a former NFL linebacker, formerly an Old Spice guy, and current star of Fox’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” It also stars the Muppets.

The ad, which runs in the second quarter of the game, evinces a cross-promotional deal with Disney. The 60-second TV ad does double duty by touting the carpeted characters’ new Disney movie “Muppets Most Wanted,” which premieres in March.

The NFL and Disney seem poised to take as much of your money as possible.

5. SodaStream. Johansson’s contention that SodaStream “will save the world” is rather ironic, considering the controversy surrounding her participation. The Israeli company has set up factories in the occupied West Bank, and Johansson’s defense isn’t convincing anyone.

6. Volkswagen. Apparently things have gone horribly wrong back in the lab. The makers of my favorite Super Bowl commercial — little Darth Vader –have been traditionally strong during the big game. But as this teaser demonstrates, it’s not an exact science.

7. Doritos. The company’s “Crash the Super Bowl” contest is down to five finalists, and this one is our favorite. Because, wrongfully accused ostrich.

8. Pepsi. It’s unclear whether this spot, “Twice In A Lifetime”, is an actual commercial that will air during the game, or just a promotion for the Pepsi Halftime Show. Either way, it’s pretty cool. Rory O’Connor thinks he’s being interviewed about the time he attended Super Bowl IV, only to have that game’s halftime show recreated right in front of him. Carol Channing!

9. Doritos. Here’s another finalist, as we see a young Justin Bieber making morally questionable decisions when his mom asks for help unloading the groceries. This makes the list primarily for the final scene, in which the mom cheers her young son being painfully hogtied.

10. Doritos. In which a doofus is conned by a kid to hand over his delicious bag of flavored chips. Left unmentioned is why the boy has set up this elaborate scam in someone else’s front yard — someone who seems to hate him, no less.

READ: Everything You Wanted To Know About The 2014 Super Bowl Commercials (But Were Afraid To Ask) [SportsGrid]