Hold on a minute, did Bill Nye just break some potentially earth-shattering news about space exploration? Are humans at the doorstep of Mars?
The beloved science guy alludes to that historic happening in a Super Bowl 2020 teaser ad launching today for SodaStream. After he notes that putting astronauts on Mars is technically “still pretty far off,” there’s a cliffhanger ending that leaves the door open for a bombshell announcement.
Viewers will have to wait a little longer to find out what’s in store.
SodaStream, the Israel-based home carbonation company, has been sitting on the sidelines of the Super Bowl for the past six years but plans a return this year with a theme of sustainability.
Nye, who also served as a bubble-oriented pitchman for Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew last year, has a central role in both SodaStream’s 15-second preview and the 30-second spot that will run just prior to the halftime show of the Big Game on Feb. 2.
Created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and directed by Super Bowl vet Bryan Buckley, the brand’s commercial will feature Nye in his natural habitat: sitting at a desk littered with microscopes, flasks, rocket models and other lab paraphernalia.
The rest of the spot is still under wraps, but the teaser, with the tagline “Something big is bubbling,” sets up its planetary intrigue. (Trend alert: Olay also tackles space in its first Super Bowl ad, with a raft of high-powered women like Katie Couric, Busy Philipps, Lilly Singh, Taraji P. Henson and retired astronaut Nicole Stott).
SodaStream’s most recent Super Bowl efforts, in 2013 and 2014, ran afoul of the broadcast networks because they name-dropped competitors Pepsi and Coke. The ads were rejected and the brand had to retool them, dropping its rivals’ names.
Part of the PepsiCo family since a 2018 acquisition for $3.2 billion, SodaStream won’t repeat the tactic of calling out competitors. In fact, the company won’t be touting its soda-making capabilities at all. The focus will be hydration and sustainability, emphasizing its products as environmentally friendly ways to cut down on single-use plastic—the start of a broader, ongoing campaign.