Online Video Helps Brands Give Censorship the Finger

The lack of regulation in the digital space can make perusing the Internet a pretty hellish experience sometimes. But for brands trying to capitalize on controversial campaigns, the absolute freedom of expression they find online is a boon.

While having their TV spots censored might have once seemed like a problem for brands, today, online video allows them to circumvent the censors and capitalize on the interest that the “banned” tag generates.

SodaStream’s recent Super Bowl spot was pulled off Fox News because it “challenged” industry leaders Coke and Pepsi. While this seems like a pretty asinine and frustrating reason not to air an ad, the controversy that surrounded the situation enhanced the virality of the video.

The spot features Scarlett Johansson and has over 13 million views.

SodaStream CEO Daniel Bimbaum recently spoke to Bloomberg about the controversy and pulled another controversial maneuver, which sent interest about the campaign through the roof. He called the American media out hard, by claiming that the commercial had aired uncensored in Russia, and challenged them to do the same.

Watch the five minute interview here, which also addresses the West Bank controversy the company and their brand ambassador Johansson have been embroiled in.

While the censorship and controversy have always piqued consumer curiosity and interest, the dawn of the online video age has allowed for brands to capitalize on this interest like never before. Simply put, online video helps brands looking to gain visibility (like SodaStream), convert intangible buzz into a maximization of earned media.

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