Since the show's anticipated reboot aired last week, Peloton has become the topic of plenty of conversations – so much so that its stock actually took a tumble – and it seems like people can't get enough of it.
To be honest, when I first heard the scene I expected it to be funny. Boy, I was wrong. Without spoiling too much of the show's plot, all I can say is that many tears were shed on my end. Who would have thought an exercise bike could get me in my feels?
During the past two years, Peloton has seen a huge upswing. When the world was forced to work from home (and exercise from home) owning a Peloton suddenly became a great investment, and the brand's stocks skyrocketed as people all over the world ordered their own bikes. Among those people, were my parents.
As someone who lives in a small London apartment, owning a Peloton doesn't seem realistic, in fact, the $2,000 price tag makes it even more obscure. But, after having tried it a few times when I've visited, I've realized what it is about the exercise bike that really has people hooked.
Just like Mr. Big in And Just Like That, most Peloton users have their own personal favorite when it comes to instructors. For Big, it was the fictional Allegra (played by real-life Peloton instructor Jess King), and although I have yet to find mine, I've already got a soft spot for a few.
Throughout the pandemic, many of us have been longing for a sense of community, and Peloton has been just that. Whilst taking a spin, I've spotted members with the hashtags #PelotonMoms and #TeachersOfPeloton, as well as plenty of users who have taken thousands of different classes offered on the app.
What Peloton has succeeded in is creating content that is both available live as well as on-demand, and if you're taking a live class, it means you're likely to get a shoutout from your favorite instructor, and who wouldn't want that?
The importance of community isn't anything new. Other brands including Soulcycle and Equinox have both thrived by creating the idea of a family, a sense of belonging, that is expensive and aspirational – but neither could be translated into the home. That is, of course, Peloton's USP.
But, at the end of the day, Peloton only offers exercise bikes as well as an app subscription. Recently, it also introduced a treadmill, but again, it is expensive and not ideal for those of us living in smaller apartments (read: for those who aren't rich).
This is why Peloton has become an expert at marketing because by creating viral moments that get people talking, the label has managed to stay relevant without actually releasing new products or changing its pre-existing offerings. You can't expect existing customers to keep purchasing new bikes, but you can expect new users from a viral marketing campaign.
Remember that ad from a while back that featured a man giving his wife a Peloton for Christmas? That received tons of backlash, without even really saying much.
Sure, if your husband gets you an exercise bike out of the blue without you having ever mentioned one, he's probably an asshole, but the commercial did nothing but paint the bike as an appreciated gift. It was the people that interpreted the commercial as insensitive and sexist that really brought the big views.
The short ad that surfaced after the premiere of And Just Like That wasn't a coincidence. Peloton knew that the bike would be featured, and had cleared Jess King's feature in the show, and therefore acted fast and created a video featuring Chris Noth (Mr. Big) and King (Allegra) to advertise the bike.
PR stunts like controversial ads and viral videos have kept Peloton in the spotlight, and with more COVID-19 variants popping up, there will be plenty of more exercise bikes to go around. And let's be real, no one will ever be able to ride their Peloton without thinking about Big's tragic fate.
So, just like Mr. Big, I'll be continuing my Peloton journey despite the increase in cancellations and searches for "Peloton Safety" – in fact, I want my own bike even more now.