• Scott Becher

WINSIGHTS: Peloton Strikes Back -- "He's Alive"

The "Sex and the City" reboot "And Just Like That..." damaged the Peloton brand. One of its leading characters (Mr. Big, played by Chris Noth) dropped dead after a Peloton ride. Peloton's stock crashed, hitting a 52-week low.

While one of Peloton's high-profile instructors was cast in the show, this wasn't typical product placement. The peloton equipment was purchased by the show and no compensation was exchanged. Yet the collateral damage was painful and the brand quickly needed to respond.

Did it ever. Only 48 hours later, actor-turned-marketing-exec Ryan Reynolds and his production company Maximum Effort produced a video showing Mr. Big was quite alive. Peloton set out to remind everyone that exercise is a heart-healthy activity...despite what Hollywood may have you believe.


Peloton's stock was up 7.4% the next day. And if the success of its Instagram post is any indication -- almost $500k in social value plus massive engagement as measured by Zoomph -- this unlikely marketing story may rewrite some longstanding branded content guidelines.

Key takeaway: Whenever your brand is featured in third party content, make sure to first approve how it's depicted. Or, become good friends with Ryan Reynolds in a hurry!


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