A couple of years ago, carbonation machine maker SodaStream was struggling. Their stock had tumbled to half of its value, and sales were far below what was anticipated. Things weren't looking good for the company, who had positioned themselves as an alternative to sodas like Pepsi and Coke.
Fast-forward to today, where SodaStream just announced record growth in the final quarter of 2016. According to Food Dive, sales of the machines went up 22% in November, and operating income went up a staggering 206 percent. Repositioned as an alternative to bottled water and/or sparkling water, SodaStream has become incredibly successful in recent months.
What was the secret to them doing so well these past few months? A wildly successful, no-holds-barred Internet campaign in which SodaStream launched an aggressive attack on the bottled water industry.
SodaStream teamed up with hit show "Game of Thrones" to create funny and creative ads against the usage of disposable sparkling water bottles that feature "The Mountain," a strongman character beloved by the "Game of Thrones" audience.
All of the adverts attacked the usage of plastic bottles in one creative way or another, developing one clear and decisive message that SodaStream got across:
"F**k plastic bottles."
These viral ads were successful not just because of their humor, but because it positioned SodaStream as the alternative to bottled sparkling water — something that contributes to the disposal of over 1 BILLION plastic bottles every single day. According to the videos, a single SodaStream bottle will save four thousand water bottles over the course of a year.
Messages like these contributed to the growth of SodaStream and the impressive numbers it displayed at the end of 2016. It made SodaStream not just an ideal product for sparkling water enthusiasts, but also one for environmentally-conscious consumers.
Their brutal attack on the plastic bottle industry was so harsh that the International Bottled Water Association even sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company regarding their campaign. SodaStream, of course, rejected the letter, which delighted many of the consumers in its new target audience.
The resulting spike in sales and revenue led to some great benchmarks for the sparkling water brand, including getting to ZERO bank debt and nearly getting to 1 million units sold in just December of 2016.
The campaign has no signs of slowing down, as SodaStream's CEO recently continued his attack on bottled water with a letter denouncing Pepsico's newest brand, LIFEWTR, in which he called bottled water the "biggest marketing scam of all time."
As this campaign continues, it'll be interesting to see how and if the success SodaStream has had from it so far continues to grow.
And hopefully, we get more hilarious commercials featuring "The Mountain" to watch as well.