Well played Fox Television. In your attempt to keep your hands from getting dirty you went ahead and outsmarted yourself.

If you didn’t hear, Fox decided not to allow a commercial from the “Make your own Soda” company SodaStream as they were reportedly concerned that Coke and Pepsi would be upset.

The result of the ban from the television network was the video went viral in a big way. Within just hours of the ban reportedly more than 1.8 million people visited the companies advertisement on YouTube effectively making the ban into an aggregator rather than deterrent.

SodaStream having Scarlett Johansson strip down from her robe into a sexy little dress doesn’t hurt the cause, but I feel confident to say that had little to do with the video taking off across the webosphere.

The good news is even if a few of those 1.6 million viewers set out to the store and buy a soda stream, Coke and Pepsi are going to be more than okay. I’m also guessing that Fox will have no problem finding someone to fill in the ad space, so I guess all and all they are going to be okay as well.

The big question here is should Fox fear Coke and Pepsi to such an extent that they drive substantial ad revenue and content away? Further, did Fox actually do themselves or the brands they supposedly wanted to appease a service here by banning the ad? At the very least Fox could have taken the millions of dollars from the small(er) company in exchange for their 1 minute of air time.

And the winner is…

In the end SodaStream is the big winner here. In what amounts to a very mediocre commercial with a mid-tier A lister, SodaStream got to skip the expense of the superbowl ad and ended up getting a more focused audience and wider media outreach than they could have hoped for.

Lesson: See also old media companies doing dumb things.

Check out Scarlett and SodaStream in the ad that was banned by Fox