Did Aviation Gin just make lemonade from Peloton’s lemons?
Actor Ryan Reynolds is a funny guy and also the owner of the Aviation Gin brand. This week, Mr. Reynolds and Aviation are in the news for not only reveling in the misery of another business — Peloton — but turning that misery into a viral marketing tool to drive awareness of his company’s gin.
Peloton recently came under scrutiny for a commercial — “The Gift That Gives Back” — that many saw as demeaning to women and classist. At the beginning of the spot, a husband gives his clearly physically fit wife a Christmas gift of a Peloton bike in their large home.
Later in the spot, the actress, still quite physically fit, although not noticeably more so, later shares a video of herself using the machine with her husband. She tells him, “A year ago, I didn’t realize how much this would change me.”
The role of the wife in the commercial was played by Monica Ruiz who was quickly tagged on social media and in the press with descriptors — “Peloton Wife” and “Peloton Girl” — not intended as compliments.
That’s where Mr. Reynolds and Aviation came in. The company quickly hired Mr. Ruiz to star in an online spot promoting the gin brand called “The Gift That Doesn’t Give Back.”
The Aviation commercial features Ms. Ruiz seated at a bar in a dazed state between two friends, all with Aviation Gin cocktails. The friends, not entirely sure what to say, let Ms. Ruiz know that they are there for her and that she is “safe” with them.
The actress remarks on the smoothness of the gin before saying, “To new beginnings.” She downs her glass and then one of her friends’.
As the commercial moves to a shot of an Aviation Gin bottle, one of the friends remarks that, “You look great, by the way.”
Mr. Reynolds sent out a tweet about the spot with the caption: “Exercise bike not included.” The tweet has received 9.6 million views to date. The video on YouTube has nearly 4.4 million views.
Peloton, which responded to the controversy surrounding its commercial with a statement that it was “disappointed in how some have misinterpreted it,” has lost $1.6 billion in market value since running the original spot.
- The Gift That Gives Back/Peloton – YouTube
- The Gift That Doesn’t Give Back/Aviation Gin – YouTube
- Ryan Reynolds – Twitter
- Peloton ad costs the company and shareholders $1.6 billion – CBS News
- Aviation Gin
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your reaction to the controversial Peloton spot and the public’s response to it? What do you think of the Aviation Gin response?