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Why Peloton’s new ad campaign works better than last year’s

Why Peloton’s new ad campaign works better than last year’s

  • When Peloton released its holiday commercial last December, viewers cringed at its awkwardness and took to social media to ridicule the company.
  • Peloton took note and released a new ad campaign this week that features real riders ranging in body type, race, and location. A narrator explains “why they ride,” as the viewer sees the bike tucked into real homes.
  • Alixandra Barasch, an assistant professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, breaks down why Peloton’s new campaign is so powerful, what the fitness brand learned from previous mistakes, and how other companies can apply these lessons to their branding.  
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

When Peloton released its holiday commercial last December, in which a man gifts his wife a bike and she records a year’s worth of workouts, viewers cringed at its awkwardness and took to social media to ridicule the company. They dubbed the woman the “Peloton wife.” 

The ad promoted a great deal of negative commentary, including criticism that the commercial was sexist and classist — the already-fit woman was using a $2,245 bike. What’s more, the company’s stock fell by about 9% the day after online outrage spread across social media and news sites. 

Peloton took note. It released a new ad campaign this week that features real riders ranging in body type, race, and location. A narrator explains “why they ride,” as the viewer sees the bike tucked into real homes. (Disclaimer: this reporter is a Peloton user.)

“It’s all about how this can be your special time to step away and be part of a community,” said Alixandra Barasch, an assistant professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “It’s less about what went wrong in the last campaign, which was focusing too much on

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