How the ‘Peloton Woman’ in Aviation Gin’s ad will be a case study on marketing genius for years to come



Taylor Peterson

It’s the holiday ad that caught fire for all the wrong reasons: A young, seemingly fit woman is gifted a Peloton stationary bike (presumably by her husband) and proceeds to vlog her fitness journey over the course of a year.

The ad, produced by creative agency Mekanism, went viral almost immediately, sparking criticism about Peloton’s unhealthy depictions of body image and marriage – not to mention the “Peloton Woman’s” concerning expressions (which some have quipped resembles a face of fear). Naturally, Twitter users couldn’t contain themselves, dragging the cringe-worthy campaign with labels like sexist, elitist, and entirely unrealistic.

Soon after the spot aired, actor and liquor brand owner Ryan Reynolds cashed in on the drama – and marketers everywhere scrambled to pick their jaws up off the floor. The ad spot for Ryan Reynold’s liquor brand, Aviation Gin, cast the same actress from the Peloton ad — in a sequel that tells the story of where the Peloton Woman is now. Spoiler: She’s downing Aviation Gin in a bar with two friends, wallowing in the aftermath of Peloton’s ill-conceived commercial. We’ll toast to that.

What makes the gin ad brilliant real-time marketing?

For starters, it’s clear the Aviation Gin ad is a tongue-in-cheek response to the viral Peloton commercial. The ad shows the Peloton Woman (portrayed by actress Monica Ruiz) projecting a deadpan stare as she sits quietly with her martini sans wedding ring – all while her friends tell her she’s “safe here” and “looks great, by the way.” She then downs her entire drink in one gulp.

Did the Peloton Woman heed the advice of Twitter and leave her Peloton husband? Most likely.

In a maneuver that combined timeliness, meme culture, and a simple product message, Aviation managed to capitalize on another brand’s moment of infamy with striking success. The commercial garnered immediate responses after its release, with Reynolds tweeting a link to the video along with the caption, “Exercise bike not included.”

An old tactic with a viral twist. What Aviation Gin did isn’t new. Poking fun at other brands is an old ad trick that’s been used by the likes of Sprint (remember Verizon’s “Can you hear me now” guy?) and Samsung, which has been known to mock Apple product users. But the Aviation Gin ad has raked in praise from advertisers and consumers alike – not because it’s a new concept, but because it came with timely delivery and contextual relevance.

The ad’s success hinged on the brand’s ability to quickly produce a made-for-web commercial in nearly real-time. The video was produced with a tight lead time – only 15 days elapsed between the Peloton ad and Aviation Gin’s commercial.

It’s an undertaking that would be difficult to achieve in traditional TV advertising, which has longer turnaround times and stricter regulations around ads containing alcohol. This, coupled with the commercial’s cheeky release on social media, created the perfect recipe for a viral campaign that launched on the right platform, at just the right time.


About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.





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Shutterstock launches Smart Brief, collaborative tool for creative briefs



Taylor Peterson

Visual content provider Shutterstock today announced the launch of ​Smart Brief – a new tool designed to simplify and improve the creative briefing process for marketers and creatives.

The new service is part of Shutterstock Custom, a premium content management solution that helps enterprise clients produce and scale branded content. Shutterstock Custom users will be able to access the Smart Brief tool, which employs automated technology to accelerate the traditional creative collaboration process.

Smart Brief in action.

According to the company, key highlights of the tool include:

Intelligence. Powered by machine learning, the tool guides users through the process with relevant prompts that capture accurate inputs while eliminating conflicting or unnecessary information

Improved collaboration. Users will have the ability to accept changes and recommendations from other team members, view or revert to previous versions, and clone existing briefs.

Flexibility. Users are able to make adjustments to controls, production value, and the service level per project as the scope of work evolves.

Why we should care

Creative collaboration is often a pain point for both marketers and creative professionals alike – and can be particularly challenging for agency teams managing high-volume client projects.

A tool like Smart Brief has the potential to streamline workflows, resulting in less time spent inputting briefs and obtaining approvals and more time dedicated to creating high-quality branded content.

“The traditional creative brief process is laborious, time-consuming, and leaves a lot open to interpretation… We set out to automate and simplify the experience,” said Sylvain Grande, SVP of product and UX at Shutterstock. “Smart Brief streamlines our clients’ workflow and in turn, allows them to receive content faster without compromising results or having to be on set.”


About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.



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Canva urges users to change passwords following data breach affecting up to 139 million users



Taylor Peterson

Graphic design toolset Canva is advising users to change their login credentials after the company’s database was reportedly compromised in a cyber attack Friday.

The attack targeted usernames and email addresses, affecting up to 139 million users globally. Passwords were also obtained, but Canva assured users that passwords have been “salted and hashed with bcrypt,” meaning they remain unreadable by third parties. The platform recommends that users change their passwords as a precaution.

“Our teams have been working around the clock to investigate the attack and communicate with our customers,” Canva said on Monday. “We are continuing to investigate and are being thorough and methodical with our examinations… We have also engaged forensic experts to investigate the incident.”



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Donald Glover’s Airdrop stunt at Coachella proves experiential marketing gets bolder with influence



Taylor Peterson

Artist Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) used iOS Airdrop at Coachella to surprise random festival-goers with a photo of shoes he created in collaboration with Adidas. Those who accepted the Airdrop received a free pair of the sneakers – with terms and conditions, of course.

The lucky recipients had to sign a contract stating they would wear the shoes, attend the show, and keep the shoes on all weekend. Experiential marketing in action.

Why we should care

Glover’s Airdrop play comes at a time when experiential marketing is making waves. From Chanel’s Le Rouge Pop-Up to Refinery29’s 29Rooms funhouse, brands are finding ways to invite customers into their story.

But the creative experiences are only part of the strategy. In Adidas’ case, the brand leveraged Glover’s celebrity to influence an audience that was already tuned in (literally). The Airdrop tactic was simply an unexpected and delightful conduit bringing fans to the product.

Before launching an experiential strategy, we should consider what resources are appropriate and available to rally awareness and engagement. Because if there’s anything we’ve learned about tangible experiences, it’s that delivery and perception can be everything.


About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.





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