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‘Game of Thrones’ villain stars in SodaStream prank

In April Fools’ Day campaign featuring ‘The Mountain’ Hafthór Björnsson, Israeli company takes aim at beverage makers

Hafthór “Thor” Björnsson, better known to Game of Thrones fans as psychopathic giant Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, teamed up with SodaStream to create an April Fools’ Day advertisement for the Israeli company.

A video released March 31 shows Björnsson, a professional strongman, attributing his great strength to a new brand of sparkling water called “Heavy Bubbles,” which is sold in dumbbell-shaped bottles. He then directs viewers to the website heavybubbles.com.

But anyone trying to purchase the water through the website is greeted by the full ad, in which Björnsson reveals that there’s no such thing as “Heavy Bubbles” water.

“Why do you believe such a thing? It makes no sense,” he says. “With SodaStream you don’t carry plastic bottles. You don’t sweat and you make sparkling water from normal water. At home, like me.”

SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said the company “wanted to emphasize how ridiculous it is to continue to carry bottles home from the supermarket, so we came up with this crazy, out-of-the box campaign,” according to the PR Newswire website.

The gag isn’t SodaStream’s first bid to take aim at beverage companies for wastefulness. In 2014, the company rolled out a parody website and commercial for a “Secret Continent” campaign. The tongue-in-cheek campaign sought to have billions of plastic bottles constituting a large floating island in the Pacific Ocean recognized as the world’s eighth continent.

SodaStream has also sent dozens of cages filled with the approximately 10,657 bottles and cans that a typical family goes through in five years around the world as eco exhibits.

Bjornson joins American actress Scarlett Johansson as a famous face of the brand.

“I’ve been using SodaStream since I was a kid and was therefore thrilled to collaborate in this video. I’m always open to new techniques for exercising, but you’ve got to admit that carrying bottles home from the supermarket is a hassle and actually pretty stupid when we have an alternative such as SodaStream,” he said of the campaign.

Scarlett Johansson with Sodastream's Daniel Birnbaum (photo credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream/via JTA)
Scarlett Johansson (right) with SodaStream’s Daniel Birnbaum (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for SodaStream/via JTA)

SodaStream has been heavily criticized for operating its primary manufacturing plant in the West Bank settlement of Mishor Adumim, and was targeted by an international campaign calling for boycotting, divesting and sanctioning Israeli companies.

Citing financial reasons, SodaStream last year announced it was closing its West Bank factory, but the boycott movement declared victory and said its pressure was behind the decision.

Over 500 Palestinian workers lost their jobs when SodaStream last year moved its factory from the West Bank to the Negev. Seventy-four more Palestinian workers were fired last month because the Israeli government refused to renew their permits to work in the country.

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