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SodaStream's Super Bowl ad bubbles over with controversy

Scarlett Johansson arrives for the premiere of the

Scarlett Johansson arrives for the premiere of the film "Her'' during the 8th Rome International Film Festival in Rome. (Nov. 10, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

To have your commercial become banned by a Super Bowl network is to a.) save $4 million; b.) Ensure that you will then get $4 million in free publicity. (Which, I suppose, means you are net $8 million ahead, right?) In any case, I'm talking about SodaStream. 

Fox banned this ad presumably because it mentions Coke and Pepsi, but of course that was the method to its madness -- mention Coke and Pepsi, then get banned! (This ad is even self-aware enough to wonder how it might go about the process of going viral.) The offending line was cut, and the ad will now air. So SodaStream still owes the $4 million.

But, of course, the free publicity continues -- right here, for example. This commercial represents a new subset of Super Bowl marketing (hard to say whether it is growing) that stirs the pot. There's additional pot-stirring here as well: SodaStream, an Israeli company, runs its factory in an Israeli settlement on the West Bank, which has prompted protests from Palestinian activists who have criticized star and SodaStream "ambassador" Scarlett Johansson for her participation. Johansson responded on Huffington Post on Friday.

Now, let's give SodaStream some free publicity, shall we? Here's the "banned" ad.

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