Usually when a commercial gets rejected from airing during the Super Bowl there is a clearly controversial reason, but in the case of Scarlett Johansson's ad for Sodastream the reason given is the only thing clearly questionable.

Fox Sports, who is airing this Sunday's Super Bowl has said no to a commercial done by the famous actress and sex symbol because... they say... it puts it's competitors and fellow Super Bowl advertisers, Coke and Pepsi in a negative light. Let's be clear here. Scarlett isn't on screen doing anything over-the-top sexy, she doesn't say anything that's blatently untrue, no animals were harmed during the making of the commercial for Sodastream, she simply says 'sorry Coke and Pepsi' at the end. I'm not sure if the executives at Fox have ever actually watched tv before but if they have, they've surely noticed that advertisers compare themselves favorably against their competitors on an every day basis. It's usually done much more overtly than the word 'sorry.'

John Shearer, Getty Images

I have two theories here. Theory one is that Fox is run by strange little men who are terrified to the point of being ridiculous about how the big wigs at Coke and Pepsi will react. They are afraid that reaction could hurt their bottom line. This is dangerous ground. You can't let advertisers program your network for you or you become a pawn to whatever they want. It also puts those advertisers in a position of playing God so to speak, which rejects competition and everything our system of capitalism is based on. Survival of the fittest is fine so long as the fittest aren't given the chance to actively squash their competitors simply by whining about their message.

Theory two is the one I actually believe though and while it may be considered shady as well, it's much less intrinsically evil. I think... and I have nothing to base this on at all other than my own opinion... that this is all a ploy. The folks at Sodastream either don't want to spend the roughly $3.8 million dollars it takes to run one 30 second spot or they devised a way to get much of the benefit at a lower cost. I suspect both are true. Fox is all in on it. Sodastream makes a 'Super Bowl commercial,' Fox rejects it on some lame grounds that we'll probably believe, the story hits the media, the commercial goes viral, Sodastream sells a lot of product, Fox makes good money (from whatever agreement they have with Sodastream) and they don't even have to give up any air time during the game. Air time they can still sell at full price to someone else. Heck, they didn't even hide it. The script has 'if only I could make this message go viral' right there in it. Of course we're led to believe that refers to Scarlett taking off the shirt she's wearing to reveal an off the shoulders dress... but come on... it's not even revealing. It's not like there is a 'wardrobe malfunction' or she's wearing a bathing suit or something.

Genius is a strong verb to use but in this day and age of ever increasing competitiveness in the market place, it may just be borderline genius. Create a fake controversy, reach a very captive audience that eats it up... profit. Both sides stand to make a lot of money, just in a non-traditional way. It's thinking outside the box. It's the kind of thing that gets someone a huge promotion and raise. Anyone who's ever been in sales has probably been told by their boss that finding new avenues of income is an extremely good thing. New idea's, fresh takes, redefining old methodology for a new world.

Congratulations Sodastream and Fox. I'm impressed. Or... I could be completely wrong.

Ask me about my theory on the whole Phil Robertson/Duck Dynasty 'controversy' any time.


Play your part, as I am. Watch the commercial and contribute to the viral nature of the issue that, I think, was planned all along.