R[E]D – Research : Emotion : Design

A Brand Research and Development Strategy Firm


Leave a comment

Do You Need a Style Guide? Answer: Yes

It’s a simple question: Do you need a style guide? And it has a simple answer: Yes. Any brand, company, blog or webpage that wants to create and maintain consistency and a professional feel should have a style guide.

Style guides are a must for any publisher with multiple employees. This is especially important if more than one person will work on any brand elements (from the website to printed materials), and to ensure that transitions between employees are seamless in the eyes of users. Today, we take a look at well-documented style guide from MailChimp, and highlight things you can take away in creating your own document for the first time.

What Is a Style Guide?

 mailchimp-release

A style guide is the ultimate resource for visual and writing tone for your brand. The guidebook is not intended to be read cover to cover (and should not be written that way), and should be organized as a simple resource manual.

Style guides cover two big areas: visuals and writing. For website or app development, a style guide may contain a third area, defining how the user interface should work or coding specifics.

A style guide is a fluid document and once written should be updated regularly. When creating this document, consider how it will look and be used during the process. Your style guide should follow the styles defined. Use your brand’s color palette and the same writing style that you would like to be associated with the brand.

MailChimp’s “Voice and Tone” style guide follows this concept. The tone is simple and the guide looks and feels like the website. In addition, MailChimp also has a “Brand Assets” guide for how visual elements are used.

Getting Started

mailchimp-logo

Creating a style guide from scratch is not a task that you can complete in an hour. It will take some planning and time. But once the document is created and if updated regularly, it can be a time-saver in the long run. Before you write the first word of instruction, gather (or create) this list of materials to make compiling your guide that much easier.

Branding definitions, styles and logotypes: This includes examples of how logos can and can’t be used, as well as fonts, sizes and color swatches.

Font palette: List all the typefaces, sizes and colors that are acceptable. Include specs for how each is used from styles for body type, headers, quotes, labels, captions, navigation elements and so on.

Images, icons and buttons: Define style, color, size and placement of each.

Styles for forms or calls to action: Define what type of information can be collected and how data collection works. Write and include disclaimer information.

Basic layout: What is the basic template for your design? Include a few examples for how your letterhead, printed materials or web pages should look.

Visual Style

 

mailchimp-mascot

mailchimp-color

The visuals section of the style guide includes several key parts: acceptable fonts and use, including normal, bold, italic and special styles; color and size for typefaces; settings for bullets or lists; color palette; and image guidelines, such as size, border specs and uses such as text wrap or image and text combinations.

These styles should be written in simple and clear language and include technical specs, such as complete font names, color mix swatches (in RGB, CMYK or Pantone) and usage guidelines for web and print (if applicable). Some brands have both a print and web style guide; other brands opt for one document that covers both.

mailchimp-type

MailChimp’s style for typography is direct and shows each font and usage. The style guide should include HTML specs as well for website styles. What elements use an H1 versus H2 versus H3 tag. (We’ll go into more detail about web specifics in the HMTL section.)

In addition, visual style guidelines should include a full description of when, how and where branding and logos can be used. This includes how the logo looks, if colors or fonts can be altered (typically not) and in what instances use is acceptable.

Writing Style

mailchimp-voice

Just as important as your visual style is the tone of the writing. It can be jarring for users to come see your brand material and it read light and silly in one instance and cold and sterile in another. How the words come together can help clients or users associated with your products, making a writing style vital.

Key parts of written style include tone; spelling and language; reader level or jargon; voice; structure; use of symbols, numbers and lists; branding or trademark usage; and overriding style guide of choice.

There are a handful of generally accepted written style guides for English-language publications. Most company style guides direct you to use one of these for questions on matters of usage and style.

AP Style: The Associated Press Stylebook is used by journalism and writing professionals in print and online. The style focuses on consistency and brevity and is common because of these attributes.

Chicago Style: The Chicago Manual of Style is used by academics and for scholarly works, businesses and includes the basics for a more formal style of writing.

MLA Style: The Modern languages Association style guide is most commonly used in academics, liberal arts and humanities.

MailChimp’s writing style guide includes great examples of press releases and how the site should read as well as how the brand interacts with customers on social media, the blog and how the company’s trademark jokes should be handled.

User Interface and HTML

PRL

If you are creating content for the web, you need rules for digital publication as well. While text, color and tone guidelines will be outlined in other guides, you should also note how the website and user interface should work. (The PRL guide is an excellent resource.)

Text: Explain HTML markup rules. What type of headers are used and how? What’s the difference in usage between an H2 or H3? In addition to usage, what markup does your site use? This is the part of the guide that details every usage.

Images: The rules for image use should be just as clear as for text. Do you have a specified width or height for every image? Is there a standard text wrap or border size? How should alt tags be used. Make sure to answer each of these questions clearly.

Naming and saving files: In addition to how things should look, consider a little web housekeeping. How should files be named and saved in the CMS? Set clear guidelines so that your file maintenance is clean and files are saved at manageable sizes and are easy to find.

Coding practices: Determine and set forth coding standards for HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Include examples.

User Interface: If you did not include a visual guide for user interface elements and workings, include it here. What types of inputs are used and how are they labeled? (Do you use words like “Continue,” “Submit,” or “OK?”) Include a “kit” of your site’s user interface elements and usage.

In Conclusion

 

The best way to get started with creating a must have style guide is to contact:

brand research and development

Go ahead. Request a free evaluation!

Original Author / Carrie Cousins
Original Source / Design Shack

 

 

 

Advertisements


1 Comment

How People Discover New Brands

The most effective method for brand discovery remains articles published in mainstream media outlets, according to a recent report by GlobalWebIndex.

However, consumers are increasingly engaging with this content in digital form, rather than finding it in print.

Asked how they discover new brands, products, or services, 47% of 16-24 year-olds and 45% of 55-65 year-olds cited articles posted on the websites of newspapers and magazines. That’s nearly double the number (20% and 27%, respectively) who discover brands via articles published in the print versions of newspapers and magazines.

After newspaper and magazine articles published on the Web, the next most common method for discovering new brands is recommendations from real-life friends. Consumer comments on message boards is third, and results from search engines is fourth.

Advertisements and celebrity endorsements land in the middle of the pack, as do recommendations from digital friends and blogger reviews.

The least common method for finding new brands is via deals on group buying websites, such as Groupon.

brand-discovery-gwi-2013

Author / Ayaz Nanji
Source / marketingprofs.com


Leave a comment

Millennials and Brands | Millennials Are a Mystifying Generation

millennial

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Millennials, individuals aged 18 to 33, are a less religious, home buying, bank hating, selfie loving, liberal and mystifying generation. Just when it seems as though the millennials are figured out, a new selfie is posted, or a political choice is made, and people are left scratching their heads.

Millennials are less religious than previous generations. In fact, almost two-thirds of millennials would not classify themselves as religious. This may be related to the marrying trend of millennials, with only one in four millennials being married.

Millennials are buying homes, and this is changing things up for real estate agents who are not used to the millennials’ ways. 79 percent of first-time home buyers last year were millennials. Some real estate agents find their new young adult costumers to be a little mystifying. Millennials prefer texting, while real estate agents would rather pick up a phone, or have a face to face meeting.

Another mystifying fact about the millennial generation; they are against banks. In fact, they think that banking will be so different in five years that banks will no longer be necessary. In a poll of 10,000 millennials done by Scratch, banks made up four of the top ten most hated brands. Three-quarters of the millennials polled feel that they would be more interested in financial services that were offered by companies such as Apple, PayPal, Square, Amazon, and Google. What does this mean for banks? They need to step it up and figure out how to please millennials.

Who loves a selfie more than a millennial? Millennials are two times more likely to have shared a selfie than any other generation. Just a glance at Facebook or Instagram will show how obvious this is. This does not mean that millennials are self-absorbed though, a surprisingly high percentage, 63 percent, feel that it is their duty to take care of an aging parent. So while the millennial generation may be mystifying, they are a caring generation.

How do millennials identify themselves politically? Half of the millennial population are political independents. They are more likely to vote liberally than conservatively. Only 31 percent of millennials even feel that there is a significant difference between Republican and Democratic parties.

Millennials love technology, so it might be surprising to learn that 50 percent of households without televisions are millennial households. They do however watch programs on their mobile devices.

Millennials are on the lookout for a bargain, and are educated on how to get the best deal. 31 percent of all millennials shopping money is spent on deals.

What does all of this mean? It means that things are going to have to change. As millennials grow into adulthood and venture out more into the world, businesses are going to have to adapt in order to better appeal to millennials. Real estate agents and mortgage companies may have to be innovative with new practices. Companies may need to find a way to work out great deals, and perhaps post them on social media with a few selfies. Banks, especially, need a major overhaul in order to stay competitive with the millennial market.

Millennials might be a mystifying generation to some, but they are the generation of the future. They will make and demand changes. A better understanding of what makes up their generation will help everyone navigate these new changes.

Original Opinion / Ashley Campbell
Source / guardianlv, Forbes, CBS News, Philly.com, Fast Company, The Week, PBS Newshour


Leave a comment

How to improve your current advertising strategy

Advertising is a complex process; the idea is to build a creative that connects with potential buyers. It must be creative while staying grounded in the real world. It is expensive, so it has to produce measurable results. It must be conventional, yet imaginative. Companies are increasingly under financial strain and the result is the advertising business is in trouble worldwide. Agencies are becoming heavily dependent on their campaigns being led by metric this is zapping the creativity from today’s campaigns and fewer ads produce the desired result. Thus, new ideas are needed.

simple

photo credit: josemanuelerre via photopin cc

Be simple

Your Ads must work in an increasingly noisy world. Too much new information is being exchanged. The key to standing out is being simple – this is not easy nor as instantly admired as being complex. Yet, a good ad must be simple, though not stupid – and it must be subjective enough to be credible.

Be Consistent

Consistency builds brand equity or loyalty among all audiences. Nurture customers by keeping them interested in your brand’s activities and development. To maintain your message consistency, the same team that helps build the brand should approve the ads.

Be ‘Salesy’

Advertising has many functions, including selling. But what exactly should be sold? Often ads place too much emphasis on building products, not brands. The result is that too many products have similar brand values. This produces confusion. To break this cycle, ask: What does the advertising want to achieve? Who should be targeted? How can the goal be achieved?

emotional

photo credit: COMΛS via photopin cc

Be Emotional

Research shows that people make decisions based on emotions, political beliefs, spiritual leanings and, least of all, rational factors. However, most ads mistakenly are very rational and only stress product benefits, not the emotional aspects of buying. To build the idea of the brand, sell the emotions around it. This makes for stronger campaigns. The challenge is to find the right emotion.

Be Experienced

The most powerful advertising creativity stems from actual experience and culture. Sometimes one culture’s perspective resonates with a client and a product, and that eventually creates ripple effects worldwide.

Be Relevant

To get noticed, ads must be more interesting than their surroundings. Great ads must make an impact, but they also must be accountable for the emotions they create. Strong ads should be likeable, meaningful and relevant.  The dominant theme in developing good relevant ads is to focus on the human truths associated with using the product or service.

Be Humorous

Humor is powerful; it can help make people actually like a product. Most ads are rational and present a product’s benefits. But logic is not as powerful as laughter. Humor, which should be based on truth, comes from actually observing ordinary people. Being contradictory is one way to create humorous situations.

humorous-disruptive

photo credit: Arturo de Albornoz via photopin cc

Be Disruptive

Big idea stems from a dramatic change in conditions, a vision, a revolution in approach or thought that creates something new. To produce a creative disruption, follow a three-step process. First, identify the company’s conventional thinking and the basic assumptions behind its operations. Next examine the components of the brand. Then comes the challenge: find the right disruption, the one that can actually benefit the company’s position. This disruption can serve as the platform for a new vision or challenge a brand category or market.

Be Nice

The culture of a creative organization provides the framework for its output. A sick organization will not produce great work. Confident agencies generate good work, since they nurture creativity even in a viciously competitive and subjective industry. Those characteristics do not normally foster support and co-operation, so avoid them. Seek inspiration from talented people and support their efforts. Be a team player.

Original post by: Patrick Murphy
source: siliconcloud.com


Leave a comment

Apps have grown into being an integral part of your brand | A Collection of Beautiful App Icons

When you’re designing an iPhone, Android or other mobile app – it’s easy to spend all your time focusing on the UI and the software itself, and then leave the app icon to last. It’s important to remember, however, that the app icon will be seen more often than the app itself. It’s on the user’s home screen, and may well be seen many times throughout the day. The app icon in this respect becomes an integral part of your brand – almost like your logo – as it’s what comes to define your app.

Creating a beautifully designed app icon often takes time and energy – and I’d recommend putting in as much time as you would with a logo. Despite it’s small size, it has a big impact and deserves to be crafted carefully. Beautifully designed app icons can take on any form or style – from elegant black and white icons to colourful and brash, but one thing to keep in mind is that simpler is often better. A simple and uncluttered icon can be easier to digest than a busy, visually noisy icon – especially because it’ll be displayed amongst a collection of other icons and will need to stand out and be instantly recognisable.

To help give you some inspiration, I wanted to bring together a collection of some fresh, interesting, innovating and beautifully designed app icons. Some of these designs fall on the side of minimalism, while others are more intricate – but each one of these designs has a certain charm and personality behind them, and each would look at home on even the most design-focused user’s phone. Hopefully these app icons will give you something to think about for the next time you need to create an icon, and that you’ll find some designs here that you love. I’d love to know what you think, so please do be sure to leave a comment below.

01-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1375719-ICON-Real-Estate-App-Etagi

02-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1379640-Camera-App-Icon

03-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1350588-Pencil-app-icon

04-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1366476-Epiclist-iOS-icon

05-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1355973-Drop-Ios

06-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1354776-Cleaner-Icon

07-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1361891-Xnphoto

08-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1343908-Wood-Chat

09-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1371619-Redeem-App-Icon

10-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1376544-Website-iOS-Icon

11-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1368848-Applisky-Icon

12-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1375551-Mug-iOS-Icon

13-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1317031-Watching-you

14-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1332621-ReadGloss-iPhone-App-Icon

15-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1357283-Speed-Limit-Radar

16-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1345574-Sound-Circle-Icon

17-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1318983-Mutual-Icon

18-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1355050-CoinFeed

19-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1352116-Temp-Clock-Icon

20-app

Source: http://dribbble.com/shots/1336311-Book-Tracker

Author: Ricardo Nunes
Original source: twoimpulse.com/zenith/design/collection-beautiful-app-icons

 


1 Comment

Why Winning Brands Balance Long-Term Value with Short-Term Business Gain

weight_machines

Body builders and gym rats are fond of a mantra-like motivational phrase – “no pain, no gain” – that can be equally applied to the approach smart marketers take in keeping their brands fit. Successful marketers are well aware that consistent investments in their brand equities (the pain, as it were) can deliver future business gains. The tension comes from the need to deliver consistent profitability in every financial quarter and not merely to boost awareness and attribute ratings over the long haul. To do both, it takes a truly healthy brand and a wise marketer who understands the levers to pull in balancing this dynamic effectively.

When a healthy brand and a wise marketer come together, consistent investments in long-term brand value can be made efficiently, thus creating the virtuous cycle that pays bottom-line benefits, as well. What once seemed like an impossible ambition has now become a widespread and expected business imperative. I’ll elaborate.

The increased focus on short-term profitability has come into new light as the US economy emerges from recession into recovery. Cautious investors, especially the fund managers and bankers driving the stock market, have become both more discriminating and less patient with their investments. As a result, public companies are under greater scrutiny to deliver sustained, profitable revenue growth each quarter and, therefore, from the C-suite down to the cube farm, corporate targets have become imperatives. There is a justifiable lack of patience, or call it tolerance, for focusing solely on the long-range plan.

And unfortunately for brand managers, creating long-term brand equity can be at odds with generating immediate cash flow. It is tempting for a young marketer, especially one who knows he will be rotated to a different brand in a few months, to focus on the bottom line in order to secure a bigger bonus, rather than to invest in winning the hearts and minds of consumers two years out. In fact, the pendulum has swung so far from the “head-in-the-clouds” marketers of old, so motivated by creating beautiful films and winning awards, that it’s worth appreciating those marketers making bold choices to keep their equity in good stead for the future fitness of their brand.

One of the most extreme examples of bold decision-making in the interest of long-term brand health is the recent decision of a wine brand to sit out an entire vintage (and a year worth of sales) because it felt that that season’s grapes were not of sufficient quality to produce a product worthy of their brand name. Chateau d’Yquem is one of the most valuable, sought-after Bordeaux wines, and likely the most famous brand of sweet wine in the world. Their reputation has garnered a cultish following among well-heeled wine enthusiasts around the globe. Unfortunately, the 2012 growing season was so poor that Chateau d’Yquem’s grapes did not fully ripen. As a result, the company took a tough stance in favor of the brand: If it could not make a great product from those grapes, then it would make no product that year. While Chateau d’Yquem might release stocks of prior vintages to ensure cash flow, the overall decision was for huge short-term “pain” to protect and promote long-term equity gain.

Few brands have the financial freedom to sit out a year, but as an extreme case we can learn and be inspired by the position taken at Chateau d’Yquem. To be clear, their decision was a marketing investment. Within the world of CPG, we should be reminded that even the most famous brands – from Coca-Cola to Tide to Dove – continue to invest heavily in the value of their brands, when it might be tempting to drop more dollars to the bottom line. The winning formula is to generate awareness, affinity and preference via inspiring brand mixes delivered consistently and efficiently.

brand_touchpoints

A brand that stands for something meaningful and can deliver that message through every touch-point, every pack, even every business decision, is positioned well for long-term health. Delivering this message consistently over time reduces churn, consumer confusion and, more importantly, the cost of marketing investments, which benefits the bottom line. It’s a virtuous cycle – perhaps in the same way that consistent trips to the gym make each workout a bit easier and the cumulative effort all the more effective.

Author Bruce Levinson
source: brandingmagazine.com/2014/01/18/winning-brands-balance-long-term-value-short-term-business-gain


Leave a comment

Brand Marketing – SodaStream And Scarlett Johansson Make A Splash

How can a small company compete against industry giants?  The best way is to make a lot of noise. This year, one of the smallest advertisers on the Super Bowl is attracting lots of attention as it strives to break through against Coke and Pepsi.

SodaStream (NASDAQ: SODA) has had a bumpy ride over the past year.  The $562mm (FY2013 preliminary revenues) Israeli company makes in-home carbonators that allow consumers to transform tap water into sparkling water or soft drinks.   Sodastream has already made significant inroads in Europe (the company estimates that it has 19% household penetration in Finland, 9% in the Czech Republic and 6% in France), and has a small-but-dedicated following in the U.S.

Last year’s Super Bowl helped SodaStream achieve a threshold level of awareness, particularly when its aggressive Super Bowl spot was rejected by CBS (an edited version ultimately aired during the big game).

This year’s spot is tamer, but it has attracted even more attention.  Not only was it again banned from the big game, but the choice of Scarlett Johansson has attracted both positive and negative attention.  For the moment, though, it’s helping tiny SodaStream gain enough attention to make a big investment pay off.

And it can’t come a moment too soon …

Challenging 2013 Results

SodaStream’s revenue growth for 2013 was around 30%, which sounds great until you consider the 50% growth the company experienced in 2012.  The preliminary 2013 earnings report undercut analyst estimates by $5mm and sent shares tumbling by 20% in mid-January.

“We failed to deliver our profit targets and are disappointed in our fourth quarter performance,” CEO Daniel Birnbaum wrote in the earnings release. “These preliminary results reflect a challenging holiday selling season in the U.S. and several factors, mostly from the second half of the quarter that negatively impacted our gross margin.”

Translating this into marketing language, Birnbaum is suggesting that the company many have discounted heavily to increase market penetration and that the results were not what the company had hoped.

scarlett-johansson

Using Rejection To Gain Acceptance

And yet, from a brand standpoint, SodaStream has made some smart moves in the past few years.

Around four years ago, the company created an art installation that dramatized the empty soda bottle waste created by a single family.  Thirty of these installations travelled around the world until 2012, when a South African installation attracted the attention of the local Coca-Cola bottler, which issued a cease-and-desist letter to SodaStream.  Instead of desisting, SodaStream fought back, and got lots of mainstream media attention with an environmental version of the David & Goliath story.

brand marketing

Also in 2012, the brand forged a partnership with legendary adman Alex Bogusky, who had collaborated with the Center for Science in the Public Interest to launch a spot attacking soft drinks called “Real Bears”.

Bogusky created a hard-hitting, environmentally themed spot for SodaStream which was banned in the UK and then rejected from the Super Bowl last year.

That rejection helped the SodaStream get noticed during the Super Bowl last year.

An Unexpected Sponsorship

SodaStream planned to pursue a more conventional path for its second Super Bowl appearance this year.  A chance encounter changed the strategy.  SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum described it to me this way:

I’m sitting in my office in Tel Aviv and we get a phone call that there’s an American in Paris looking to find a gas replacement for her soda maker.  I contacted my Paris office and I asked them to get the replacement to this consumer.  A week later I get a handwritten thank-you note from S.J.  It turns out S.J. was Scarlett Johannsen.  She drinks only sparkling water from SodaStream and travels with it wherever she goes, etc. She just loves the brand.  We were on a path to do a different commercial for the Super Bowl, but when this happened we changed directions.

Birnbaum previously worked on celebrity sponsorships for Nike, so he had a very clear idea of the potential risks and rewards of engaging a celebrity for SodaStream.  Unlike the typical paid endorser, however, Johansson was already a brand enthusiast.  She travels with a SodaStream and has bought them for her friends and relatives. The Johansson partnership quickly propelled SodaStream into the limelight of the SuperBowl, getting breathless coverage from celebrity media outlets.

SodaStream also managed to engineer another mini-scandal that helped goose the coverage: rejection of its proposed Super Bowl ad from Fox.  Here’s the spot they submitted, which has just been released online today:

Three words caused the rejection: “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.”  So the SodaStream spot that actually runs on the Super Bowl won’t call out the competition.  But the rejection has created news.

Unexpected Problems

The Johansson partnership also created an unexpected controversy, because of Johansson’s status as an Oxfam ambassador since 2005.  Oxfam supports the BDS movement, which boycotts businesses in the Israeli settlements/occupied territories.  SodaStream has a manufacturing facility in the settlement of Maale Adumim with 1300 employees.  The boycott supporters used Johansson’s partnership with SodaStream to push Oxfam to drop her – and to make headlines.

BDS calls SodaStream “part and parcel of this system of oppression“.  Birnbaum counters: “we are part of the Palestinian economy and we’re employing 500 Palestinians who support families and we pay them Israeli wages and give them health insurance.  There can be no peace without jobs.”

Oxfam for its part says this:

Oxfam believes that businesses that operate in settlements further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities that we work to support. Oxfam is opposed to all trade from Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.We have been engaged in dialogue with Scarlett Johansson and she has now expressed her position in a statement, including stressing her pride in her past work with Oxfam. Oxfam is now considering the implications of her new statement and what it means for Ms. Johansson’s role as an Oxfam global ambassador.

Meanwhile, Ms. Johansson issued a statement over the weekend, affirming her commitment to SodaStream:

I remain a supporter of economic cooperation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine … SodaStream is a company that is not only committed to the environment but to building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine, supporting neighbors working alongside each other, receiving equal pay, equal benefits and equal rights.

The question of what will actually create peace in the Mideast is thankfully beyond the scope of this column, but it’s clear that this controversy holds some danger for SodaStream.  Until the Johansson partnership raised the profile of this issue, it was not headline news for SodaStream. Now it has generated headlines in mainstream news and disapproving commentary from some of the New York media.

SodaStream has most often been cast as the spunky upstart in media stories of the past few years, so this is the first time the company has found itself on the wrong end of a media narrative. It’s too early to tell whether this story will fizzle away or take hold and cause real problems for the Israeli soda maker.  But it is already a concern in the U.S. because the very small community where this story is gaining traction overlaps with the strongest supporters of the brand.

If the story fades, SodaStream can move on unhindered.  If it gains momentum however, SodaStream may need to decide whether it feels more passionately about its environmental mission or its approach to the Israeli/Palestinian question.

Can SodaStream Break Through?

Looking past the controversy, can the Johansson partnership and a second Super Bowl spot can help SodaStream break through?  On one hand, the company has gotten lucky again: they’ve kept themselves in the news throughout the coverage of Super Bowl advertising building up to the game itself.  They’ve already generated millions of impressions that will lead to new users. It’s still a short spot during a long game, and the creative itself probably won’t break through.  So we’ll have to wait until Sunday to see whether the viral effect propels SodaStream through the uprights.

The brand needs to ensure that the issues being raised by Oxfam and BDI don’t take hold in the US. SodaStream has one clear mission as a brand: to present an environmentally friendly, less expensive alternative to Coca-Cola and Pepsi.  Its single-minded goal should be to force Coke and Pepsi to make their branded drinks available on its machines.  Anything that distracts from this mission dilutes SodaStream’s strength.

Author: David Vinjamuri
source: forbes.com/sites/davidvinjamuri/2014/01/27/sodastream-and-scarlett-johansson-make-a-splash