The Magic Of Marketing In The Moment
Over the Thanksgiving weekend Peloton found out the hard way that a seemingly innocuous ad about an exercise bike can quickly turn into a social backfire. The Peleton ad itself seemed innocent enough – husband surprising wife with a new Peloton bike for Christmas. Initially is just felt like one of the gazillion holiday ads we all saw over the Thanksgiving weekend. But then people started to poke fun at some aspects of the ad on social media, including the dynamic between the husband and wife. Was the husband nudging his young mom wife to get in better shape? And what did she mean by “a year ago I didn’t realize how much this would change me”? As many critics noted, the wife seemed very fit and materially affluent before receiving her Peloton, so what was the actual change?
That’s when Aviation Gin and one of its cofounders Ryan Reynolds swooped in to steal the moment. As the Peloton protests were heating up on social media, Reynolds reached out to Monica Ruiz, the actress who played the Peloton Wife, and convinced her to star in a very subtle spoof ad for Aviation Gin. The ad itself is very simple, just a bar scene in which our Peloton Wife drinks an Aviation Gin martini while out with some girlfriends. But the dazed in-need-of-a-break look in the Wife’s eyes, along the way she desperately chugs the martini, creates a feeling of escapism from life and of course from that demanding Peloton bike.
Then things got really interesting. As soon as Aviation Gin’s creative was ready Ryan Reynolds simply tweeted the ad with the phrase “Exercise bike not included.” Whatever unsaid connection had been made in the ad about Aviation being an escape from the burdens of a Peloton-pressurized life, suddenly came to life in those four words. This unleashed a PR windfall for Aviation Gin. Reynolds’s tweet was retweeted over 15M times, and the newly famous Monica Ruiz was even invited onto the Today Show to give her perspective on the whole experience.
Aviation’s savvy play on Peloton’s misfortune is a masterclass on how to harness the power of a moment to propel your brand. They should be toasted (with a gin martini, of course!) for what they pulled off.