Peloton stock drops 942 Million from this holiday video ad... Full Review


I made a video to talk about the biggest lessons you can learn as a commercial filmmaker from the Peloton holiday ad catastrophe.

Alrighty so first up in case you're unaware:

  • Peloton is an at home spin cycling company which sells a bike + online cycling classes with real instructors
  • Peloton Interactive Inc's stock was down 9.12 per cent on Tuesday. A drop in over $942 million market cap :(
  • Analysts credited the drop to social media backlash over its holiday commercial
  • The ad titled 'The Gift That Gives Back' shows a woman receiving a Peloton bike from her husband on Christmas morning

(Source of all this info = Business Insider) 

There are a lot of things Peloton did right and a few things they did wrong that caused their stock value to plummet.

All in all, I still think their ad will sell Peloton's like hot cakes...

I actually bought one for my wife for Christmas before seeing this ad because she'd been bugging me to get her one for almost three months :)

Enjoy the review and comment on the Youtube video what your biggest takeaway is!


– Paul Xavier

Transcript / MP3


Peloton lost $942 million in stock valuation over a holiday video ad they released on YouTube. And in this video I'm going to do a quick video review of that ad. So I'm going to show it here in just a second and talk about the biggest lessons you can learn as an entrepreneur or a commercial filmmaker trying to make video ads that will grow your business instead of drop your stock price by hundreds of millions of dollars. All right, so let's watch this video ad first and see what all the fuss is about. Okay, you ready now Peloton. Give it up our first time. First ride, I'm a little nervous but excited. Let's do this. Five days in a row he's surprised I am 6:00 AM rising with the sun. I was totally worth it. That's the price of Boston 55 she just said, Hey, a year ago I didn't realize how much this would change me this holiday. Give the gift of Peloton. Well, lots of learn from this ad. There are quite a few things done wrong. Quite a few things done very well in this ad, but we're going to cover them all. And probably the first and most important lesson is that if you want to succeed creating videos that sell, you need to smash that like button below. No, seriously, it really does help this channel in the YouTube algorithm when you special, I can click subscribe so I'd appreciate it if you do that now. So let's start with what this ad did, right? Because I think that Peloton did a lot right with this ad. There were some poor execution and we'll get to that in a minute, but overall the concept is rock solid. In fact, it's quite genius. The concept of this ad, so think before $942 million is gone. I think before they released this video and news publication started calling them sexist and bigoted and all these different things because people feel that way after watching the ad. But just think as if you were a board member on Peloton, making the decision to pay for this ad and publish it and create it and a video production company approaches you and says, Hey, I've got a great idea that will help you sell more pelotons here's the concept. At this time of the year, everyone's wondering what to get their spouse for Christmas. Guys are wondering, w they're feeling like I want to get my wife something that will make her happy, that she'll be grateful for, that she'll actually use and use over and over and over again and be really excited that I got her because that will deepen my relationship and make us be more in love. Like what guy doesn't want that same thing with why is why just want to do that for their husbands. So there's this time of the year, this thing that happens during the holidays, November, December, even October, where people are wondering how can I, what is the product? What is the gift that I can give that will make my spouse happy? So they name this ad the gift that gives back great title. Then they open the ad. The concept here is we're going to start the ad with husband giving his wife a Peloton for Christmas. Awesome. She's super excited. She's super happy here and again, remember this is before everything happened. She celebrates and she's so grateful. She actually records herself getting on the Pelton for the first time, using it, waking up early, not really wanting to do it, but then she gets on the Peloton rise and then she feels, you know, endorphins going. She's super happy. She says that was worth it and she compiles all these selfie videos on a smartphone of her using the product and shares that with her husband to show how grateful she was that he bought her this gift. Tell me that concept doesn't sound good to you like before you think through all of the backlash that they've been getting. If you're on the board and you're thinking through that, you're like, wow, that's a great transformation story. It piggybacks off of the time of the year and where people are at. Let's do that. I think that will work too because Hey, I know every human being has been in that point where you're at least if you're an adult, probably with a spouse where you're wondering what can I get them that they're actually gonna like and use. So to piggybacking off of that and it's showing that I'm the person that receives the gift is very grateful and happy and celebrating that gift because they actually used it and loved it. That's what everybody wants so that logically and emotionally, just from a hearing, the concept makes me want to do it. I can think that Peloton did very well in this ad is called self image identification. It's when you take your viewer and you drop them into a scene or an event that they could live so that way they can as themselves identify with the emotions and feelings of that event. Say in the ad, they show snow outside. They show a Christmas tree, they show gifts and the husband says whatever it is, open your eyes and the wife celebrates and she's super happy and you feel as the viewer as if you're there on Christmas day, experiencing those emotions that of course when I identify with that, I want to feel that gratitude, that celebration and from my wife if I were to give her a gift on Christmas, that she's super excited about what I got her and that it's going to create a deeper connection between us and that we could celebrate together and be more in love. The third thing that Peloton did very well in this ad is used different image qualities to convey feelings and experiences for the viewer of authenticity and spontaneity. Okay. When do you see a four by five aspect ratio video? It's whenever you're watching someone on Instagram stories or Facebook stories or Snapchat, whatever the kids are using these days, talking about their life and just sharing what's happening spontaneously throughout their day. By Peloton, incorporating that type of iPhone video or Android, whatever the phone was into this particular ad, it creates subconsciously for the viewer that experience of, Oh, this is a spontaneous moment. Oh, she's waking up with her phone saying, I really don't want to do this. Getting on the bike and showing herself after the workout saying, wow, I'm so happy that I did that. That type of experience is something I foresee a lot of commercial filmmakers using in the future because it creates that resonance with the viewer of a type of content that already has an authentic and spontaneous emotional connection for people. Okay. That you really don't get when you're using an Ari or a red camera like they used in the opening scene, and that leads me to the first big mistake I think Peloton made with this ad, which is immediately identifying itself as a commercial and an advertisement. Now they're distributing this video on YouTube, most likely Facebook and Instagram as well. And the opening scene of the commercial was probably shot with a very expensive camera, maybe a red or Ari camera, but the visual quality is gorgeous. It's stunning. And for me as the viewer, when I look at this beautiful set, the house that the person's in, it's immaculate. It's clean, the gifts look like they replaced perfectly okay. The Christmas tree is perfect, the family looks perfect and the gift that they're giving is the perfect gift. Everything is a little bit too unrealistic for me to connect with it and that's where I lose a little bit of my self image identification and I think we can all tell when someone is faking it, which unfortunately that actress and the way the scene was shot, the emotional experience that I got was that this is not real. Okay. What would be better here would have been to open with a more organic, authentic shot, even if it was done on an iPhone of the husband shooting his wife, coming up the stairs and getting the gift and having the house. Be sure. Maybe there's a couple of things that are a little unorganized. That's okay. And I see commercial filmmakers doing this more and more in the future is making their sets not look too perfect. Cause in this case there was definitely a disconnect between the perfect house with the perfect family getting the perfect gift for me as a viewer on the quality of the video being too good to, for me to really relate to it. The second big mistake that Peloton made with this ad is not understanding what you don't say has a big impact on what you do say. And unfortunately in today's culture, in today's societal belief system, um, a lot of people look at the idea of a man buying his wife. A bike related to her getting skinny could be construed as a negative thing. It could be the man saying, Hey, you're fat. You need to get skinny. And so a ton of backlash happened online. I am a firm believer right now at least that Peloton had no idea that that type of response would happen. I think that their intent with the ad was very positive. Again, I think the concept behind it was very good and they were really focused on the transformation story and the gratitude of giving a gift she really wanted. And then her being grateful for it. But unfortunately they don't turn the husband into the hero from the start. They kind of open the ad with him giving her a gift and she's just shocked. And from that perspective it can be looked at as if he's saying to her, you need to get skinnier. Some people will look at it that way. Others won't. And that has to do with confirmation bias. Something us as marketers dealing with large populations of human beings just have to be aware of and always taking you account, which is why we typically will show our video ads when we're producing them for our clients to a small pool of people before we release them to everyone to get the general theme in response. You could've avoided that big mistake and incorporated, um, even a five second shot of, uh, the, um, the husband basically overhearing the wife talking to a friend about how much she wanted a Peloton or her on her iPad looking at Peloton content and or the wife telling a friend she wants a Peloton. And then the friend telling the husband. So then when he gives it to her, boom, huge celebration. So that would've turned the husband into a hero. And most of this negative thought and effect wouldn't have been there with this particular ad. But unfortunately in today's cultural times, um, that didn't happen. And understanding what you don't say you can have a big impact on what you do is just a little bit of a, a lapse in, in foresight on pelotons part with this app. Third big mistake that Peloton made with this ad is no visual transformation. You have a transformation story of the woman waking up and using the bike every day. And there's absolutely an emotional and a feeling transformation that she's sharing by creating the video in gratitude to her husband. That's beautiful. But Peloton is a workout piece of equipment and with that, a lot of people have the desire to lose weight, to feel better, to be healthier. And in this from the moment you see the wife in the first scene to the moment she's on the couch sharing this transformation, she looks exactly the same. So you missed a huge opportunity there to show a actual physical transformation of the actress or the subject in this case actually experiencing the results that having a Peloton would create. So again, when you try to fake something like this of using a product and going from one place to another, if you don't actually show it and people can smell taste the fact that this is just an actress and it's kind of fake, that's going to leave people with a of a negative taste in their mouth versus if you showed someone actually have that transformation would have been so much more powerful. Now with all that being said, those are the mistakes and the pros for this Peloton ad. Overall, I think this ad is going to sell their Peloton bikes and subscriptions like hotcakes. Yes, it's got a lot of negative press, but there are millions of people who did not know what a Peloton was before this ad, who when they watch it, they'll have a similar reaction to me, which is, Oh, this is really beautiful and they won't look at it from a sexist perspective. They're going to look at it like, Oh, I actually do want to get healthier. Oh I actually do want to give my spouse something that's an awesome gift and they're going to buy it. The number one reason I believe that is because I bought my son, my wife, a Peloton for Christmas and we both love the thing. So this is a little bit of a Peloton commercial in itself and because of the 942 million they lost in stock from people who, you know, got really emotional. That has very little to do with the underlying business. How many bikes are selling, how many people are on subscription with them. And I think for that perspective, their stock is going to bounce back. I think this Christmas is going to be their biggest season ever, which is why I invested quite a bit of money into Peloton stock over the past couple of days and we'll continue to do so. As the company continues to climb, let's keep an eye on their stock and here's a great idea. If you're on the Peloton marketing team and you want to reverse this negative side effect of this particular ad, create a diverse commercial with multiple families going through this exact same ads. That way all the news outlets will pick up on it again, but have it with a diverse set of families, lesbians, gay couple people who are older, people who were younger couples have the hero journey of showing the couple or the spouse or the husband or whoever it is wanting the Peloton, the other partner buying it for them. Have a mom buying it for her athlete, daughter, whoever it is, and show then show the transformation. So that turns them all into the heroes, all different diverse backgrounds. So there's no way to look at it and say, Oh, that's bad from the, you know, the general population. And then lead to that emotional experience. If you created that next week, that ad would crush news outlets everywhere would praise you and you'd get a lot more viral free marketing for yourself. So that's my tip for you. Peloton. Again, congratulations on creating such an incredible product, incredible service. If you're a business owner or entrepreneur, I hope you learned a couple of lessons. Comment below what your favorite lesson from this video review was. Don't forget to smash that like button, smash. Subscribe. If you are looking to grow your business, creating videos that sell, and if you're on the Peloton board and you'd like us to create a commercial for you, shoot me an email. Link will be below. Thanks everyone. Take care.
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