Creating a TV ad for the Super Bowl isn’t mindblowing. Letting drawings of a spunky little bubble inspire a lauded campaign against Big Soda? That’s thinking wrong.

“It’s a courageous thing to bring someone in whose mindset right from the start is to try and figure out what’s silly and present that back to the group.” —Tucker Nichols, Fine Artist, Think Wrong Collaborator

The Banned Super Bowl Ad
5.2 million people watched this ad on YouTube and the Sodastream home page

The Ad CBS Allowed
This ad cleared the censors and was seen by an audience of 100 million Super Bowl viewers. The cherry on top of Sodastream’s Think Wrong Sundae—an additional 4.4 million views on YouTube and the Sodastream home page.

Challenge: By now you know what SodaStream is—maybe you even have one on your counter. But back in 2012 the company was unknown and struggling to figure out how a small newcomer could position itself for traction against an entrenched U.S. soda category.

Story: To help the team sidestep stagnant thinking patterns and roadblocks, we led a Blitz with CEO Daniel Birnbaum and a few of his top execs. At first, the talk was all serious business. But eventually something more interesting began to take hold. 

We had brought along Fine Artist Tucker Nichols as an outsider. We’ve found it can be helpful to have a non-invested party in the room whose job is to listen, capture, and interpret the themes of the discussion. Tucker’s off-the-cuff drawings added clarity and much needed inspiration to the summit. 

Pulling from phrases and ideas he heard, Tucker soon had a wall covered with whimsical illustrations of bubbles and various expressions of freedom. 

Taking it in, the team realized the power of their own collaborative idea, and came together around an evolutionary shift in the company’s direction. 

After the Blitz, SodaStream took their “Free the Bubbles” idea and made a 60-second Super Bowl ad that would cause a much longer-lasting sensation.

Outcome: In case you slept through 2013, the ad positioned SodaStream as the way of the future, and big soda as the landfill-clogging, plastic-wasting relic of the past. 

Coke and Pepsi delivery trucks race to the grocery store to the tune of dueling banjos. Suddenly, the plastic bottles inside begin exploding in spectacular bursts of sugary water. The ad cuts to a man making soda at home with a SodaStream as a voice deadpans, “We could have saved 500 million bottles on Game Day alone. If you love the bubbles, set them free.” 

Banned on TV networks (for fear of insulting the soda companies), the ad got millions of YouTube views and free PR from outlets from the Huffington Post to the New Yorker. 

SodaStream freed their thinking and freed the bubbles. And it worked. 


We serve clients who are trying to disrupt their categories—and their own organizations.

A selection of clients Solve Next has helped think wrong about their organizations, categories, and industries.

A selection of challenges Solve Next has helped our corporate clients think wrong about.

“How might we revolutionize the beverage industry for good—empowering people with simple, creative, fun ways to make and enjoy bubbly beverages?”

“How might we empower individual pet owners to enhance their relationship with the pets they love by creating a new business that leverages existing and emerging technologies to unleash Purina’s unique nutrition, health, and wellness expertise?”

“How might our New Business become an integral player in the emerging ground transportation web (ecosystem of manufacturing, logistics, and services)?”

“How might we use commercial real estate content and insight to become an indispensable partner to decision makers confronting daunting challenges and promising opportunities?”

“How might Danfoss adopt the best of Silicon Valley to radically transform [speed, disrupt, impact] our ability [people, mindset, approach] to innovate digital [access, mobility, automation] experiences and connected products for our customers—and our business?”

“How might the insurance industry flourish in a world of autonomously driven vehicles?”

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Read on.

Read The SodaStream Ad You Didn’t See During The Super Bowl to learn how Sodastream hit Big Soda between the eyes with their wrong thinking ads.

Let’s talk.

Contact us to explore how you might think wrong about your brand and how to stand apart from the competition.