A recent Peloton ad has been sparking outrage in social media. The commercial shows a husband gifting a wife with one of the high-end stationary bikes and has been compared to episodes of the dystopian series The Black Mirror. The backlash was so strong that, one day after social media comments started to spread, the company stock fell by about 9%.
There has been different interpretations of the ad, and the company defends that it portrays the transformative power of the bike. One undeniable truth is that the ad wouldn’t have raised eyebrows 10 years ago, and Peloton missed the opportunity of keeping to up with the trends. This is a general concern for marketers and advertisers: understanding how to stay ahead of the curve.
For instance, it is not just a matter of mobile-first anymore: it is mobile everywhere. Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report for 2019 shows data from Nielsen Audience Report (USA) that 88% of viewers use a second digital device while watching TV, and 71% of them look up content related to content they are watching. For the first time, mobile has also surpassed TV on daily time spent.
Marketers need to adapt to this reality and create content that resonates with their audience. Actor Ryan Reynolds has learned fast: he hired the “Peloton woman” to star on a commercial for his Aviation Gin brand and generated a lot of buzz on the process.