The share price of the fitness equipment maker Peloton has experienced big falls followed by a modest rise after – SPOILER ALERT – one of its exercise bikes killed a key character in the reboot of the Sex and the City TV show.
Peloton’s stock price plummeted by a staggering 16% following the first episode of And Just Like That which featured the Mr Big character dying after exercising too hard on a Peloton bike.
A statement from Peloton quickly followed stating that it was Mr Big’s unhealthy lifestyle that hastened his demise, and that the brand’s exercise bikes may have even added years to his life.
This did little to stop the free-falling stock price and so Peloton quickly went a step further and fought back with a spoof advert. The advert responded to the HBO Max show by featuring Mr Big actor – Chris Noth – brought back to life and asking the real-life Peloton instructor – Jess King – whether she would like ‘another ride’.
The humorous response ad came just three days after the first show of And Just Like That was aired. It also featured a voiceover by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds who provided a typically fast-paced narration stating that regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation.
There was a brief spike on the markets following Peloton’s spoof ad, before the fitness brand’s stock price fluctuated and now rests at $41.34 compared to the $46.12 enjoyed before the first episode of And Just Like That hit TV screens.
Serious matters for Peloton
While Peloton took a lighthearted approach with their response, it does signal how the fitness brand could be having big problems controlling its image. It’s almost inconceivable that an image-dependent brand such as Peloton could have been blindsided by its portrayal in the TV show. Apparently Peloton had approved the use of its exercise bikes in And Just Like That but were completely unaware that the fitness product would be used to kill off a main character.
Peloton had previously been criticized for questionable adverts such as one which saw a woman given an exercise bike as a Christmas present by her partner. Such were the criticisms of sexism that Peloton’s stock price plummeted by 9% at the time. All of which has raised big questions about whether Peloton could sabotage its initially bright future.
Is Peloton just another lockdown stock?
Peloton was one of the major beneficiaries of the lockdowns that were implemented across the world following the Covid-19 pandemic. The fitness brand saw a five-fold increase in its share value in 2020 as people purchased Peloton products in an attempt to stay fit while being housebound.
However, shares in Peloton are now 72% lower than when they peaked in 2020, and such a negative pattern mirrors that of other so-called ‘lockdown stocks’ such as the Zoom video-conferencing app. All of which suggests that Peloton’s problems might be more than just a funny moment in a TV show.