Welcome to Will It Stick? podcast, where hosts Melissa and Alexis cover creative advertising campaigns, PR stunts, and marketing activations that brands of all shapes and sizes pull, and dive into the research and data to understand if it worked.

Today we’re talking about a brand that’s been the talk of the town for the past few weeks: Peloton. We’ve had no less than 30 people reach out to us, sending us the recent Peloton controversy telling us we should cover it and ((SPOILER ALERT)) you can bet I planned on it from the minute I saw Mr. Big die in his shower after completing his 1,000th ride, yelling at my TV screen for Carrie to call the F-ing ambulance. 

I am a Peloton SUPER FAN, and not so subtle brag, super early adopter. I was the first person of all of our circles to get the bike. I got my first Peloton bike in 2015 just a few months after my second little girl was born and I knew I needed an at-home solution for my spin obsession. You said I was crazy, that there is no way it could be anything as good as a spin class, but just a few short years later, you got one. And it’s a game-changer, is it not? 

How crazy it is that a brand like Peloton, which released its first stationary bike just six years ago in 2014 is such a cultural icon that it was not only featured in the reboot of Sex in the City, but it played a PIVOTAL role. 

Peloton’s Ingenious Ad Response to HBO’s Sex In The City Reboot Featuring Peloton

Peloton has reached insane popularity since it started in 2012 and first launched its bike in 2014. It legit seems like everyone has a Peloton now … 

Joe Biden made a splash by causing something of a headache for his security detail when he wanted to move his Peloton into the White House with him in January 2021. Besides the prezi – other superfans who openly proclaim their obsession WITHOUT being paid for any kind of endorsements necessarily are Miley Cyrus, Ciara, LIzzo, David Beckham,  Ellen Degeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Hudson, Alicia Keys, Hugh Jackman, Venus William….the list goes ON and ON.

It started in 2011, when now CEO John Foley was an exec at Barnes & Noble in NYC. He was in his early 40s and married with two young children and his job was demanding – he was working all the time, and he literally couldn’t find a way to regularly match up his insane schedule with the not-so-accommodating schedule of his fave studio cycling classes. He also noticed that was really seemed to draw people to the pricey cycling classes was a fav instructor or a well-promoted music playlist – much more than the brand of the studio itself. He wondered if there could be a way to make it more accessible. 

So he took that concept and pitched his colleague, Tom Cortese, on the idea that that with a little technology and some creativity, they could give people the full experience of working out in a high-end studio cycling class right from their own home. Tom must have jumped on board quickly, because Peloton Interactive was founded in Jan. 2012. The company originally raised $400K in seed money just a month after its founding, and then another $3.5 million by the end of 2012. Then, it turned to Kickstarter and sold its first bike in 2013 with an early bird price of $1500. Today, Peloton has two versions of the bike – a basic version for around $1500 and the Bike + for around $2500, which has a larger screen that can spin so you can easily do Bike Bootcamp workouts. It also had the treadmill which is sells for $2500, and a huge library of on-demand contact featuring almost any workout you can imagine….strenghth classes, meditation, dance cardio, barre, yoga and more. 

The stats don’t lie: An independent survey done by CivicSciene in 2020 found that only 28% of those surveyed had NOT hear of the brand. Only 28% – that’s some pretty major brand awareness they achieved just 6 short years after launching its first real bike and marketing push. Peloton has somewhere in the ballpark of 5.9  million members. 2.33 million people subscribe to Peloton’s connected fitness membership. Peloton has more than 874,000 paying digital-only subscribers. 134.33 million workouts are completed quarterly on Peloton. The brand spends somewhere in the range of $475 million on marketing annually and  Today, the brand is publicly traded and is valued somewhere in the ballpark of $13 BILLION….that’s a pretty major achievement for a brand that’s less than 10 years old. 

Tune in as we dive into ALL of the marketing missteps – we uncover it all.

Peloton Meme Stemming From Their “Rich People Playthings” Commercials
The Infamous “Peloton Wife” Ad.
Ryan Renyolds…Because He’s Freaking Amazing, Smart & Hot from Vogue

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Check out some of the great articles we sourced to gather all the facts for this episode.

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And Daily Dot had that great list of Peloton Memes

Peloton Wikipedia

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