Grand Prize: Digital PR Campaign of the Year

SodaStream uses ‘Game of Thrones’ to push environmental message

‘The Mountain’ spread the word about plastic waste.

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Without much of a budget, SodaStream pulled off a PR effort that not only generated huge buzz among consumers and within the plastic bottle industry, it actually moved the needle on the organization’s stock price. For this feat, it’s won first place in the “PR Campaign of the Year” category of PR Daily’s 2017 Digital PR & Social Media Awards.

SodaStream allows consumers to make sparkling water using their own tap water without contributing to the mounting volumes of plastic bottles in landfills and oceans. To emphasize the problem associated with buying water in plastic bottles, the organization adopted a “Game of Thrones” theme in a three-minute video

The video featured two members of the GoT cast, one of whom—Thor Bjornsson, the actor who plays the character the Mountain—is a SodaStream ambassador. The video opens in a supermarket as a shopper scopes the aisles for a bottle of sparkling water. As he makes his way down an aisle, he is followed by Hannah Waddingham (who plays Septa Unella on the show) ringing a bell while angrily chanting “SHAME!” Bjornsson, very unhappy with the shopper’s purchase of polluting bottles of sparkling water, asks him, “Why are you stupid? Why are you carrying shameful polluting plastic bottles? Don’t you know you’re hurting Mother Earth?” Bjornsson then goes onto explain that with SodaStream you can create sparkling water at home with the touch of a button—without angering Mother Earth. 

The video was launched on a special unbranded “Shame or Glory” Facebook page that was kicked off with teaser posters. The organization also published a “Shame or Glory” website with gamification elements. 

Other members of the cast spread word of the video to its ultimate audience of more than 50 million people. A press tour added to the surging awareness of the video among GoT fans. 

The video has generated more than 8.5 billion impressions, 500 media mentions and 10,000 social media shares. Research also showed recall and purchase intent. The video also struck a nerve, provoking seven leaders in the bottled water industry to send cease-and-desist letters, leading SodaStream’s CEO to decry the industry’s effects on the environment. 

Congratulations to the team of Matti Yahav, Shiri Hellman, Itai Bichler, Maayan Nave, Jodi Ben Meir and Yulia Ackerman.

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