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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 what your body should look like.” 

Barasch 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. 

The focus is on community over function 

The new ad campaign barely features Peloton’s bike, and when it does, the imagery is more about the rider than the equipment’s bells and whistles. That was intentional, Peloton’s new SVP and head of global marketing Dara Treseder told Business Insider. 

“In the past, our marketing campaigns were primarily focused on our product and the services,” Treseder said. “But our community has grown so significantly that it’s important to showcase the fullness of the Peloton experience and some of the most valuable elements of the Peloton brand that many people don’t see until they’re fully immersed in it.” 

Barasch praised the tactic, adding that it emphasized the social connection many individuals lack these days due to Covid precautions like social distancing and quarantining. 

“Even though we’re all isolated right now, we can still tap into these connections with other people,” Barasch said. “It’s serving as a substitute for this community that many of us are missing and that’s

11 virtual fitness companies vying to compete with Peloton’s winning membership model and cash in on the at-home exercise boom

  • On-demand and virtual fitness has never been more popular, as the pandemic drastically changes the way Americans stay fit. 
  • While Peloton continues to dominate the at-home fitness market, several digital fitness programs — both new and existing — are looking to cash in on the on-demand exercise boom. 
  • We took a closer look at 11 of the most popular virtual fitness membership programs. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

Gone are the days of traditional gym memberships, as Americans enter the era of the virtual, at-home fitness movement buoyed by the pandemic.

On-demand fitness platforms have never been so popular, nor so ubiquitous. Though digital fitness has been on the rise in recent years, the coronavirus outbreak has put fledgling virtual companies on the map while prompting the rise of a slew of new platforms designed to help Americans stay fit while cooped up at home. 

These programs vary in price and types of workouts, but most are designed to bring streaming fitness classes directly into living rooms, with little to no additional equipment required. And while past decades have brought the likes of Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons, and Billy Blanks into our homes, today there are more options and different types of classes at consumers’ disposal than ever before. 

The breadth of new options, however, hasn’t stopped Peloton from dominating the virtual fitness market, with sales skyrocketing by 172% year-over-year and overwhelming demand for its stationary bikes causing mass delivery delays.

Companies ranging from tech giant Apple to StretchIt — an emerging app dedicated entirely to stretching — are vying for a piece of the at-home fitness market. We took a closer look at 11 virtual fitness membership programs looking to cash in on the at-home fitness boom.

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