There is a new cultural trend surrounding Super Bowl commercials. As everyone knows, ad agencies save their best and most creative work for this highly sought-after, very expensive commercial time. Yet with the advent of the internet—specifically videos on the internet—these coveted commercials can go viral even before the big day. So much so, commercials are now being specifically designed and marketed as “banned” from the Super Bowl, which adds another level of interest to the clip.
One such commercial featured so-named “Sexiest Woman Alive” Scarlett Johansson for SodaStream that “called out” its competition (Coke and Pepsi) and was supposedly banned for it by Fox. “Like most actors,” Johansson says at the open of the commercial, “my real job is saving the world.” It was tongue-in-cheek, but Johansson has been a politically active celebrity ambassador for Oxfam, a non-governmental organization determined to end poverty. Something that might literally save the world.
“If only there was some way to make this go viral,” she says at one point. And “go viral” it did, but not for a reason anyone wanted. As a result of this commercial, Scarlett Johansson was fired by Oxfam. Well technically she resigned, but it was clear Oxfam wanted her to go. Yet, why would a charity organization dedicated to fighting poverty across the globe care about a machine that makes carbonated beverages?
The problem is that SodaStream operates out of an industrial park located in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Oxfam vehemently opposes doing business with companies “that operate in settlements [and] further the ongoing poverty and denial of rights of the Palestinian communities we work to support.” This news shocked the many fans of “ScarJo” who were forced to ask themselves: What is Oxfam?
Searches on Google for Oxfam rose after the Super Bowl and, if one uses Google’s pre-fill feature, typing “Oxfam is” offers a variety of choices, none good. “Evil,” “corrupt,” and “bad” were the top three options, although pick any charity and the pre-fill suggestions seem to stick to this theme. But what about Oxfam in particular?
Oxfam is an “international confederation” that began in 1942 at Oxford University, specifically to address the problem of starvation in Greece because of a Nazi blockade. Originally called the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, it eventually grew into an international activist organization and shortened the name to Oxfam in 1965.
For the most part, Oxfam takes clear sides in politically troubling issues which can open the door to controversy. The organization did draw some heat for not calling the open-killing of civilians in Darfur “genocide” because doing so would endanger their ability to feed 600,000 refugees displaced by the violence. In a 2007 blog post the author says, since “birth Oxfam had to decide whether destroying tyranny was more important than relieving immediate suffering, and 65 years on it seems no closer to an answer.”
So, is Oxfam about feeding the hungry? Yes, but there’s more. They also work to “find practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive.” They also express a desire for political activism to provide a voice for those who may not have one in their governments or the media. For the latter, Oxfam relies on its celebrity goodwill ambassadors, like Johansson, to trick a celebrity-obsessed world to pay attention to troubled areas.
It is in this capacity, as a voice of the oppressed, that Oxfam has firmly established itself as opposed to the Israeli occupation of territory “won” in the Six-Day War in June 1967. Under international law, the occupation of these territories is illegal, but Israel and its political allies have dismissed these laws out-of-hand. Oxfam has championed the cause of the Palestinians who have inarguably been oppressed ever since.
Since 1991, SodaStream—which now boasts 25 factories globally—made their company’s headquarters just outside of Jerusalem in a place called Ma’ale Adumim, which is on the part of the border known as Area C. According to USA Today, the factory employs both Palestinian and Israeli employees, with equal wages, benefits, and rights for all. In a statement on The Huffington Post, Johansson said the company seeks “to [build] a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine,” and support “neighbors working alongside each other.”
There is a movement in the international community that does not see it the same way and wants to establish Israel as an “apartheid” state and impose economic sanctions. Called “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions,” that not only calls for a boycott of Israeli products—like SodaStream—but also for investors to target corporations who do business with Israel as “complicit in the violation of Palestinian rights.” While the BDS movement and Oxfam have similar interests, Oxfam denies that it supports the campaign despite accusations from Israeli business owners—such as SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum—that some of its branches have funded BDS activities.
Jerusalem-based watchdog group NGO Monitor counters Oxfam denial with a fact sheet, which details the connections between the BDS campaign and Oxfam Novib, the Dutch branch of the organization. Opposing Views reached out to Oxfam for comment, but has received no response at press time, so it is unclear whether this was an oversight, a mistake, or the actions of a rogue branch.
This criticism comes on the heels of the negative response to Oxfam’s latest campaign for Africa, featured primarily in Britain. Using bright and vibrant images of landscapes, the ad’s slogan is “Let’s make Africa famous for its epic landscapes, not hunger.” Market research dictated that images of starving Africans had a depressing, negative effect that made people not likely to donate. In an LA Times article, a nonprofit consultant agreed with the research but noted “potential donors feel powerless.”
Yet what about Oxfam’s power? The 72 year-old organization has grown far beyond a few activists in a room at Oxford into the type of organization that could maintain a global presence long before the internet made the world small enough to fit in our pockets. Can a charity with as many moving parts and as much overhead still be as viable as one with a high-traffic website and small cotillion of traveling activists?
If the Oxfam Novib controversy is a case of the right hand not knowing what the left is doing, perhaps it is time for the wide net of Oxfam to be pulled back some. By clearly focusing their many arms on specific tasks, Oxfam could better avoid controversy and do what they do best: helping people with specific needs.
While big-time marketers compete for a commercial spot during the Super Bowl, being banned from the big game is probably the best thing that could have happened to SodaStream.
Their ad has already received more than three million views on YouTube.
In the ad, Johansson is using the home soda machine to make herself a drink when she asks herself an important question that all marketers ask.
“If only I could make this message go viral,” Johansson says right before she drops her robe and begins to provocatively sip on her homemade soda.
The commercial ends with her saying, “Sorry Coke and Pepsi.”
This was enough for the NFL to call foul and ask the company to edit the last line because Pepsi is the halftime sponsor and Fox, who’s had a long-time relationship with Coke, is broadcasting the game.
The edited version will air during the game, but its uncensored ad is all over the Internet and has indeed gone viral.
SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnhaum told USA Today that the NFL and Fox are afraid of Coke and Pepsi.
“Which advertiser in America doesn’t mention a competitor?” he asked. “This is the kind of stuff that happens in China. I’m disappointed as an American.”
Perhaps SodaStream should have seen this coming though, considering its planned Super Bowl ad featured a Pepsi and Coke delivery truck was also previously banned, Variety reports.
A California teenager has been busted for threatening to publicize sextortion photos of the reigning Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf.
In addition to Wolf, the FBI believes that 19-year-old Jared James Abrahams may have attempted to extort other women. After an FBI investigation that lasted several months, Abrahams has been charged with cybercrimes and extortion.
The term sextortion means “when someone is blackmailed with the treat to release sexual images or information if the targeted victim does not comply.”
Although she didn’t get into specifics, Wolf disclosed that someone had gained access to her webcam and stole pictures. She found out about the theft via an anonymous email.
Apparently Abrahams has confessed to hacking the webcams of a number of other women, The Inquisitr reported.
Other celebrities, including Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis, have been victims of sextortion.
Abrahams’ case is different than most sextortion schemes because FBI officials said he would use the victims’ own webcams to take the pictures himself.
“Abrahams used malicious software to disguise his identity in order to capture nude photos or videos of victims through remote operation of cameras on their home computers without their consent,” a police report said.
With the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish New Year — and Yom Kippur recently completed, and the year 5774 well underway on the Hebrew calendar, the time has come for the world’s Jewish population to turn to the really interesting issues.
For example, who is the “hottest Jewish celebrity babe?”
That pressing question has now been addressed by a survey on Peeperz.com, a site operated by a pornographic web site aptly named Pornhub.
While the 18 Jewish celebrity women listed in the survey are not porn stars, the opinions reflected by the survey are likely to be largely those of avid pornography viewers.
The runaway winner, with 30 percent of the nearly 4,000 adult film fans who voted, is Scarlett Johansson, whose name would appear to mark her as Scandinavian in origin.
Indeed, though ScarJo's father is Danish and her parents met in Denmark, her mother Melanie Sloan is a 100 percent Jewish native of the Bronx, New York. The Avengers star (pictured) told an Israeli TV station that she identifies herself as a Jew and was raised observing the high holidays.
The runner-up among porn-fan preferences in Jewish women was acclaimed Black Swan actress Mila Kunis, a Jewish Ukranian immigrant who has said that she concealed her Jewish identity when growing up in her native country due to her fear of anti-Semitic persecution. But when she comes to New York these days, she said, “I’m super-Jew.”
Kunis accrued 24 percent of the vote. All 16 of the other celebrity women named in the survey were bunched at 10 percent or less. Israeli model Bar Refaeli placed third at 10 percent. Natalie Portman took fourth with 9 percent.
Down the list, Two Broke Girls star Kat Dennings took 5 percent of the vote while former Entourage cast member Emmanuelle Chriqui, whose parents are Orthodox Jews from Morocco, garnered four percent. Zoe Kravitz and Evan Rachel Wood rounded out the list with 1 percent and 0 percent, respectively.
Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson were spotted in New York City over the weekend, filming a commercial for Dolce & Gabbana. The commercial not only stars two of Hollywood’s hottest celebrities, but is also directed by Martin Scorsese!
The two look hotter than ever in black outfits.
I can’t wait to see the finished product!
Scarlett Johansson is on the cover of French Vanity Fair, and was called the "ideal transatlantic muse" by editorial director Michael Denisot."
"She has every quality imaginable - the elegance, beauty, wit and impertinence that would make her a perfectly decent Parisian if she decides to move permanently into the apartment she has bought in Paris not far from here," he said.
Johansson recently purchased an apartment in France near her boyfriend Romain Dauriac, a creative agency manager.
She confirmed her relationship with Dauriac, 30, in the May issue of Marie Claire magazine.
In the interview, she discussed a night out the two had in Manhattan.
"The next day my boyfriend and I were saying, 'We were the best dancers in the whole world last night!' We were completely delusional. I'm sure we were absolutely, like, ridiculous together," she said.
On her 2010 split from Reynolds, who is now married to Blake Lively, the actress shares, “Well, it wasn’t that long ago. But I think I’ve had a fair amount of time to process the experience and be able to move forward.”
Johansson adds, “I continue to get to know myself better as I get older, and that helps me in my relationships.”
The “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” star also talks about her romance with French creative agency manager Dauriac, joking about the their “ridiculous” dancing at a January after-party for the Broadway show.
She tells the mag, “The next day my boyfriend and I were saying, ‘We were the best dancers in the whole world last night!’” adding that they were “completely delusional” to think that way.
Johansson goes on to reveal that her relationship deal-breaker is jealousy, offering, “I don’t like jealous behavior. I don’t mind an occasional check-in, but when somebody is passive-aggressively jealous, it’s really unattractive because it shows a sort of insecurity.”
“Oh, controlling behavior is awful. Nobody’s going to say they love that,” notes the star.
Johansson, who had nude photos from her email hacked last year, is serious about her privacy, which is why she says she’s not active on social media.
She tells the mag, “All of it drives me crazy. I don’t understand this need to ‘share.’ We almost exploit ourselves in order to feel seen.”
The magazine hits newsstands on April 16.
Check out the pics below!
What do you think of Johansson’s interview?
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Most celebrities are constantly talking about how healthy they try to be and how they’re on a juice cleanse or going gluten free – so it’s refreshing to hear that there are some stars out there honest enough to admit that they don’t constantly just eat rabbit food.
They like to indulge in a little fastfood from time to time. Reducing their intake to just the occasional treat, these stars all jump at the opportunity to grab some fried chicken, chow down on a Big Mac or watch a movie with a pizza when it’s their day off or they feel as though they’ve been eating healthy enough to deserve a cheat meal.
Sometimes, it’s hard to control those cravings for something that might be a little naughty and these 5 stars aren’t obsessively dieting so don’t mind allowing themselves a small fastfood treat. Find out what they like to eat below!
Beyonce has a love for a certain kind of fast food chicken and often can’t help herself: “There’s a lot of pressure, whether you’re in the music business or movies, for women to be a certain way and itBey’s usually not, ‘Just be your natural weight.’ I eat too much junk food and my real weakness is Popeye’s fried chicken. I just love it.”
George doesn’t like all fastfood but often gets cravings for Big Macs. An insider reveals he once ordered 100 at once: “George rarely eats fast food but he has a thing for Big Macs and the craving hit after the Globes. He did the obligatory hand-shaking, hobnobbing and posing for photos after the show but by 10 o’clock he was ravenous. He looked at his girlfriend Stacy Keibler and said, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but I’m having a Big Mac attack!’ Stacy looked concerned until she realised George was craving greasy food. He doesn’t like hanging out at industry parties too long and he’d invited a bunch of friends to his house. So he told two assistants to pick up 100 Big Macs.”
Nicole likes to kick back with a good movie and a pizza: “If I’m getting crazy, I’ll watch a movie, have pizza. I love red velvet cake and I love junk food sometimes. I’m pretty self-controlled but when I do party, some people say I’m the life of it.”
Ryan adores eating burgers when he can, especially with fries and cheese on top: “I do eat healthy but there’s nothing better than a good old-fashioned American cheeseburger and fries. I go to In-N-Out Burger, a healthy fast food place in Los Angeles. You can have a ‘protein style’ burger – without the bun and wrapped in a lettuce leaf.”
Scarlett loves pizza and visiting Burger King because she loves the real taste: “I love pizza with anything except pineapple or anchovies on the top. I do like Burger King cheeseburger meals as well because I like the chargrilled taste, and I like the toy that comes with it.”
Taylor Swift is apparently ready to move from one Harry to the next; she reportedly has her eyes set on Prince Harry.
“Taylor’s desperate to get her name added on to the VIP lists of stars being lined up to meet Harry," a source told The Sun. "She loves everything about him — especially his ginger hair and English accent."
The source says that Swift, who's already dated a member of the American "royal" family the Kennedys, would surely be upgrading with Prince Harry.
"She’s dated JFK’s great nephew CONOR KENNEDY, who is considered American royalty, and Harry would be a massive step up from him."
Swift may have a leg up on the competition if Prince Harry was single, but he's not. Harry is currently dating Cressida Bonas.
"Taylor is also Harry’s type as he loves blondes,” the source continued.
Swift is currently on tour with another red-headed Englishman, Ed Sheeran, who is reportedly a little jealous of her royal crush.
“Ed is laid-back, but it will be a challenge for him not to get jealous over Taylor’s admiration for another richer, ginger Englishman with the same name as one of her ex-boyfriends.”
Prince Harry is set to visit the U.S. next month and will meet with Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Vanessa Hudgens and Scarlett Johansson among others.
Remember a few years back, when Scarlett Johansson did some music and some people said it was quite good? We didn't actually listen to it, but a lot of people did, and they liked it, so good for her, eh? She had a song nominated for an Oscar this year, too. Again, we didn't listen to it, but we're sure it's very good.
Anyway, she's gotten together with a bunch of other women and started a girl-band:
"I'm in the process of working on an all-girls band. We're called The One and Only Singles, we're kind of doing our go-go kinda thing."
The One and Only Singles? Rubbish name for a band. They blatantly should be called Vanity Project or The One and Only Scarlett Johansson and Some Other People Whose Names You'll Never Bother To Learn Even Though They're Probably Really Nice and Talented and That.
You can have that one for free, ScarJo.