Why bad Peloton PR, is better than it seems.
In January, BBC local radio invited me on air to talk about the Peloton ‘heath scares’ and whether it affects the brand.
Previously on Peloton: Carrie Bradshaw’s husband in Sex and the City reboot, Mr Big died on a Peloton bike. The company tried to recover the PR narrative with a super smart, pre-planned parody advert featuring Chris Noth alive and well and benefiting from exercise. It was a global social media sensation. However, it soon backfired after allegations of sexual assault, which he denies.
More recently, a central character in the hit series Billions had a heart attack using his Peloton. He survives, though, even jokingly referencing Mr Big’s death. Peloton was less happy about this issue pointing out in a tweet that “cardiovascular exercise helps people live long and happy lives”. It seemed they did not see this one coming and also did not have an oven-ready ad ready to go.
Interestingly, after Mr Big’s death Peloton’s shares dropped over 10% but rebounded shortly after. Overall, fictional deaths will have minimal impact on sales as it’s unlikely to change people’s view on the health benefits of exercise.
Peloton has high quality equipment and a strong subscription business model, but has massively overperformed in an artificial lockdown market. The bigger issue for the global brand is the rebalancing of the books after a boom in the home exercise market post lockdown.
The fact that global TV shows are writing their product into their programmes and we are talking about their product on talk shows, means they have penetrated mainstream consciousness which is a huge cultural breakthrough for the brand.
If you get the chance, the Britney Spears ride is well worth a spin.