Michael Bublé pop superstar and secret vandal, often carries a magic marker when he goes grocery shopping—the better to alter cans of Bubly, replacing the “y” on the end with an “e” so the product becomes his namesake.
The Canadian singer confessed his cheeky (and victimless) crimes during the announcement Tuesday of a deal between Bubly and SodaStream, with six Bubly-branded flavors now available to spike the gadget’s sparkling water.
“I have a mask on,” to be Covid-safe, he said during an afternoon virtual press gathering. “So maybe no one knows it’s me. But I’ll write on Bubly cans in stores.”
Call it life imitating art.
Bublé who started playfully defacing Bubly packages in a 2019 Super Bowl ad, stars in a 30-second spot for the Bubly x SodaStream partnership, which extends the years-long joke into 2021.
I thought it would be one cool, great Super Bowl ad, I had no idea that three years later I’d still be doing it
Bublé , according to the new work, still can’t separate his name from the Bubly line. In introducing the new flavor-drops product, Bublé repeatedly mispronounces Bubly—”booh-blay” instead of “bubbly—-as an exasperated director calls “cut.”
In a chat with Adweek, Bublé said that poking fun at his unique surname has “always been part of the marketing” since early in his career. He was “so in love” with the initial Bubly ad concept from Goodby Silverstein & Partners that he’s happy to continue playing along.
“I thought it would be one cool, great Super Bowl ad,” he said. “I had no idea that three years later I’d still be doing it. It’s been so much fun, and it’s all done with self-deprecating humor.”
The new commercial, which launches Wednesday, touts the first co-branded North American project between SodaStream and Bubly, siblings in the PepsiCo family. Bryan Welsh, GM of SodaStream’s U.S. division, said he thinks the collaboration will give existing customers a “chance to experiment and have fun” and attract potential new buyers.
“If someone’s been on the fence about buying into the platform, it gives them a reason to try it,” he said. “We think it’ll build the business.”
SodaStream has an existing fruit-drops line, but Welsh said the Bubly product will provide “a wider variety” for consumers who want to personalize their drinks. Bubly Drops are rolling out at a mix of traditional retail (Target) and e-commerce platforms (Amazon).
Tapping into demand for less calories, and less plastic
The good-for-you water industry is booming, he said, with an 84% year-over-year growth in sparkling water makers and a 21% jump in beverages on the market, accelerated by demand from health-conscious consumers during quarantine.
Having some points of differentiation, like customizable flavors, is key. (A six-pack of Bubly Drops include mango, grapefruit and lime, with no calories, sweeteners or artificial flavors). “At home consumption has never been higher,” he said, “and people are looking to have a little fun” with their everyday products.
Sustainability is even more top of mind with consumers, he said, with SodaStream use replacing 8 billion plastic bottles in 2020. The Israeli company, acquired by PepsiCo in 2018, often leans into its eco-friendly message and made it the centerpiece of its Super Bowl 2020 ad starring beloved scientist Bill Nye and astronaut Alyssa Carson. Despite the popularity of that spot, dubbed “Water on Mars,” execs say the brand won’t return to the big game this year.