Writing from New Orleans, it is clear that one of the winner’s of tonight’s Super Bowl has already been decided – and its Israeli company SodaStream.  The publicly-traded company will be the first ever Israeli company to advertise in the Super Bowl, and they have already scored a major Public Relations home-run in the process. Their victory is for making more noise than any other company who’ll spend millions on the ads tonight – and they did it without the celebrities who will be featured in many other ads and guarantee attention.

Sodastream makes home carbonated machines – essentially home soda-making machines.  They used legendary ad man Alex Bogusky to create an ad which directly challenged Pepsi and Coca-Cola – and as a result as The Atlantic Wire and many others wrote CBS refused to air their advertisement during the Super Bowl as it was  “SodaStream Super Bowl Ad That Was Too Mean to Coke and Pepsi.”

Sodastream’s business is naturally based on challenging the soda industry – but its bad business for CBS to allow big spenders Pepsi and Coke to be attacked during the big game.  So, they banned the ad and subsequently the banning of the ads has resulted in a bonanza of positive worldwide headlines for Sodastream.  That’s has enabled the Sodastream message to be heard loud and clear – and a bonanza of positive publicity which the ads alone would never have created. A new ad – with similar yet softer messaging – will air tonight in the Super Bowl.

Baseball manager Yogi Berra once said: “It’s impossible to get a conversation going, everybody’s talking too much”, and certainly surrounding the Super Bowl there’s a lot of noise.  But by great creative work and undoubtedly a smaller budget than the soda giants, a challenger brand has succeeded in sparking controversy and creating real conversation.

Like countless others in the marketing industry I am in New Orleans this weekend, but undoubtedly Sodastream has already out-marketed many of us with their on-point messaging and a great public relations strategy to capitalize on the banned ads.  As an extra point, shouldn’t all Israel-supporters worldwide kvell at the fact that tonight is the first time an Israeli company has an ad in the world’s most televised sporting event?