Will SodaStream keep its fizz?
As the home-soda maker hits a 52-week high, it looks forward to a big Super Bowl splash.
Two years ago, SodaStream International (SODA) took over my neighborhood. That's when one of my friends started making seltzer with one of its home-soda machines, and the devices soon bubbled up in what seemed like every home on my block -- including mine.
Along with its popularity among consumers, SodaStream has gained the favor of investors, with the stock hitting a 52-week high on Monday when it touched $49.10. Barclay's started coverage of the stock with an "overweight" rating and a price target of $55.
If the company has its way, its home-soda system will continue to make inroads with consumers. SodaStream is planning its first Super Bowl commercial next month, in what will be a new take on its sustainability message.
In its first global ad campaign, ordinary people are depicted having fun making soda at home, while warehouses of plastic-bottled drinks disappear. The message? The "SodaStream Effect" helps save plastic by allowing people to bypass the store.
SodaStream plans to a new take on that ad during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, when the company says "people are most likely to notice the growing piles of bottles and cans strewn about the room and filling up their trash." According to the company, American consumers used over 180 billion soft drink packages, and only recycled about one-third of plastic bottles.
Aiming to help Americans use fewer plastic bottles won't come cheap: The Super Bowl is the priciest ticket on broadcast television today, with CBS garnering record rates of up to $3.8 million for a 30 second spot. The commercial represents SodaStream's biggest advertising expenditure yet on a single spot, according to a company spokesman.
The reason for the high price can be seen in the Super Bowl's ratings. Last year's game reached a record 111.3 million viewers, up about 25% from a decade ago, according to data from Nielsen.
A little controversy might not hurt SodaStream's chances of getting eyeballs during the game, either. The company's "SodaStream effect" ad was yanked late last year in Britain as regulatory authorities deemed it too disparaging toward soda makers, reports Time.
"The world is changing and we're going to call it out," SodaStream Chief Executive Daniel Birnbaum recently told the Wall Street Journal.
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