Peloton raced its way to the top of the US advertising hill in December.
Over the last four weeks, the exercise bike brand had one of the most significant increases in Ad Awareness, a YouGov metric that tracks whether someone has seen or heard an advertisement by a company in the past two weeks.
It’s not hard to figure out why. After the brand released its holiday ad depicting a man gifting his wife a Peloton bike, it was criticized for being sexist and sparked an online conversation about body image, marital dynamics and class.
Despite how the ad was received online, ad exposure doubled in 30 days in the lead up to Christmas. Peloton was also named one of YouGov’s top advertisers of the year.
“Our holiday spot was created to celebrate that fitness and wellness journey. While we’re disappointed in how some have misinterpreted this commercial, we are encouraged by – and grateful for – the outpouring of support we’ve received from those who understand what we were trying to communicate,” the company said in an email to CNBC in early December.
Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin even got in on the action and ran a spot just a few days after online reaction to the Peloton ad reached a crescendo. The gin ad, starring the same woman in the Peloton commercial, shows her at a bar, staring blankly at the camera before being consoled by her friends. “You look great, by the way,” one friend tells her at the end.
YouGov data published in December by Bloomberg found that online outrage doesn’t necessarily translate to a significant dip in sales. And a YouGov survey conducted in early December found only seven percent of Americans would be insulted to get a fitness-related gift.
According to YouGov Profiles data, Peloton’s current and potential customers (those who are considering or have an intent to purchase) are majority male (56%) and are more likely than the general US population to have a household income over $100,000 per year.