For a handful of reasons, SodaStream hasn’t enjoyed a great deal of positive PR in recent years. So when it was revealed that the company just released a long (three minutes!), high-production commercial, they’d want something with universal appeal. This spot, which aims to make bottled-water drinkers feel as though their walk home from the store is on par with Cersei’s walk of shame in season five of Game of Thrones, doesn’t, um, nail it:
The premise is that some poor dude endures two minutes of septa Unella yelling “Shame!” and ringing that godforsaken bell while he fetches comically oversize bottled water for the Mountain’s Thor Björnsson. The ignominy doesn’t end once on set, either. He gets further berated by Björnsson, who spies the “shameful polluting plastic bottles” that his assistant has in tow, and takes umbrage on behalf of the birds, bees, ocean, Matthew McConaughey, and SodaStream — whose products he proceeds to shamelessly pitch. The segue, as Gizmodo notes, isn’t terribly seamless:
Thor Bjornsonn, topless and in his Mountain getup from Game of Thrones, starts talking about Mother Earth, and I don’t even know what’s going on any more.
That then transitions to him walking onto another Game of Thrones set, which features both a variety of Sodastreams and someone in stocks to tell us about the magic of carbonating non-carbonated water.
Oh, and then the Mountain tells us “Fuck plastic bottles.”
Reactions, meanwhile, have been what might charitably be called “mixed.” Digg writes in summary: “This ad is way too long, extremely uncomfortable, based on a scene from two seasons ago, and they got The Mountain but didn’t even have him lift anything heavy? For shame, Sodastream. For shame.”
That sentiment seems representative of most YouTubers’ takeaway, too; the swath of their commentary runs from “What makes you think I would actually sit through a 3 min ad?” and “I’m sure little gas canisters you have to use to make your own sparkling water are about as polluting as plastic bottles” to “He must be walking through the Israeli-occupied territories,” which of course references SodaStream’s less-than-stellar track record when it comes to fighting for Palestinians’ lives.
Somehow, even weirder still is the Monty Python–y website SodaStream ultimately redirects everybody to, ShameOrGlory.net. It sells “F**k Plastic Bottles” T-shirts for $25,
and lets you either “destroy Earth using toxic plastic bottles” or choose “the path of light,” where you’re given the opportunity to end all this by buying a $95 DIY countertop
carbonator right then and there.