Turns Out That Whole “Peloton Wife” Controversy May Not Have Hurt Peloton Sales After All

Apparently all internet virality is good internet virality

Peloton wife
Unsurprisingly, the controversy only helped the company achieve greater brand recognition.
Peloton
By Kayla Kibbe / February 4, 2020 10:25 am

Two months ago, which is several lifetimes in internet meme years, Peloton Wife was all but inescapable. For those who did manage to escape it, “Peloton Wife” refers to the subject of a surprisingly controversial holiday ad for the popular exercise equipment company in which an already-fit woman receives the upscale exercise bike as a gift from her husband and documents her fitness progress, seemingly — as critics pointed out — under duress from said husband. Peloton Wife shot to her 15-minutes of internet fame back in December, and even reprised the role — now as a Peloton divorcee — in a spinoff ad for Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin.

But despite reports that the controversy surrounding the ad caused Peloton stock to lose more than $942 million of its market value in a single day, it appears the company has managed to pedal through the social media firestorm. According to Fortune, Wall Street analysts are predicting Peloton’s second fiscal quarter earnings will not reflect any earnings damage from the ad at all.

“[The ad] didn’t appear to have any effect on sales trends during the period,” Justin Patterson of Raymond James told Fortune, adding, “the people who were upset weren’t going to buy the bike anyway, whereas the ones that were buying it were still happy with the gift and are enjoying the product.”

Peloton stock is reportedly up some 20 percent from its dip in late December, and Patterson told Fortune he’s optimistic that the company had a “great holiday season,” and is even raising his revenue estimate by 1 percent to $432 million for the company’s second fiscal quarter.

If anything, the ad and ensuing controversy appear to have only helped boost brand recognition for Peloton, with search queries for the brand reportedly skyrocketing late last year.

Unfortunately, this unintentionally positive reinforcement will probably only encourage companies to continue to pull increasingly ludicrous advertising stunts in a quest for internet virality, which means that next holiday season we can probably expect a commercial in which Peloton wife is killed in some kind of trendy exercise-related accident and resurrected as a Peloton baby.

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