Poppi's Food-Shaming Super Bowl 2024 Ad Belongs In 2004

Poppi prebiotic soda's Super Bowl ad is trending, but maybe not in the way the company might hope. Soda is not yet a "dirty word" for the majority of Super Bowl watchers considering the reactions on social media. In the minute-long ad, the Shark Tank-funded beverage company presents itself as one of the major innovations of the century, on the level of space exploration and the evolution of telecommunications — a big claim for a soft drink. X (formerly Twitter) users were divided on the ad, with @JenkoKent calling it boring and @AliaGClark noting with annoyance how many times the word "soda" was repeated.

The ad begins with a montage of historical footage that ends with a woman shouting "soda," while the narrator explains that "this might be the last minute you think of soda as a dirty word." We'll bet that a large percentage of people watching that ad who were holding a soda at that moment were shocked to learn they were partaking in what Poppi thinks is a shameful activity. Food-shaming rhetoric isn't likely to gain new market share in the diverse audience drawn to major sporting events, especially a huge one like the Super Bowl. After all, soda shaming and the rise of Diet Coke was 20 years ago and feels very dated in 2024.

Healthy is a personal decision

Poppi burst onto the scene several years ago and, to be sure, we've tasted (and enjoyed) several of its flavors. The drink is low in sugar and includes natural fruit juice and apple cider vinegar. For those who enjoy a carbonated drink and like the idea of sipping on vinegar, it can be a pleasant refresher. However, any health benefits are tenuous at best, no matter how the marketing copy reads. 

The ad also manages to lump all other carbonated soft drinks, from the big guys to the natural brands, into the category of containing what it calls "the bad stuff". Poppi's set of flavors sometimes rides on the back of those so-called bad drinks, too, with flavors simulating root beer and Dr. Pepper — is that a mixed message? For everyone who wants to enjoy an occasional (gasp) soda, we hope they feel free to choose a can based on the criteria of what they prefer to drink without feeling the need to hide in the shade of trendy marketing campaigns.