Holiday Ads: Why Aviation Gin Is the Big Winner

Photo of Meredith Lusher Fleece

BY Meredith Lusher Fleece

December 19, 2019

Creative

Fancy fitness brand Peloton hit a speed bump with its newest ad about a husband giving his wife their exercise bike and her year-long journey using it. The internet called the ad sexist and dystopian, a “complete male fantasy ad.” It sparked an enormous gender backlash. One tweet called the commercial a “116-pound woman’s yearlong fitness journey to becoming a 112-pound woman.”

People have poked fun at the holiday ad almost non-stop, and it has inspired a myriad of spoofs and snickering from all over the internet. Peloton has not backed away from the ad despite plummeting stock prices caused by the backlash. The brand has merely stated that it is disappointed by how the ad was received by some viewers.

“Our holiday spot was created to celebrate that fitness and wellness journey,” a spokesperson said. “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.”

A conservative reaction, and a major miss for Peloton.

Another brand, Aviation Gin capitalized on the fated commercial by producing a “sequel,” featuring the same actress from the Peloton ad. Aviation, owned by actor Ryan Reynolds, is known for using humor and sarcasm in its ads and created a responsive, witty and spot-on ad.

It’s as if the Peloton woman took the advice of Twitter to leave her Peloton-gifting husband, and we’re right there with her.

Aviation has been praised for its brilliant response. The insanely quick turnaround rewarded Reynolds and the gin brand with a viral hit, amassing almost 10 million views.

This is an excellent example of creative thinking and knowing exactly how to capitalize on the internet’s ire and quick flood of memes and spoofs. It’s a case study on how to pivot viral momentum and turning it into a memorable the commercial we didn’t know we needed. The Aviation Gin ad harnesses social media awareness; it’s timely and contextual and fun.

It’s as if the Peloton woman took the advice of Twitter to leave her Peloton gifting husband, and we’re right there with her.

This tactic of brands poking fun at each other isn’t a new concept, but Aviation’s nimbleness and cheeky release on social media created the perfect viral campaign, on the right platform, at just the right time.

Peloton’s failure to react accordingly to the negative attention echoes past failures, much like now infamous Pepsi ad featuring Kendall Jenner. And in an age where brands can react nimbly and swiftly to internet trends, we expect more brands to take notice and step into the fray.

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Photo of Meredith Lusher Fleece

BY Meredith Lusher Fleece

December 19, 2019

Creative