- Actor Ryan Reynolds' Aviation Gin brand has a new ad out that plays on the controversy surrounding a recent Peloton commercial in which a husband gives his wife an exercise bike for Christmas. The Peloton spot sparked outrage from consumers over its perceived sexist overtones and drove down the company's stock value as a result, CNBC reported.
- The Aviation Gin ad stars the same actress as Peloton's and begins on her face staring into the camera with a dazed expression while her two friends look on with concern. She breaks the tension by saying, "This gin is really smooth," and her friend tells her she's "safe here" before they toast to new beginnings.
- Reynolds tweeted the video on Friday evening with the note, "Exercise bike not included" #AviationGin. On Twitter, the ad had 9.4 million views as of Dec. 9. On YouTube, it had close to 4 million views.
Aviation Gin moved quickly to capitalize on the interest in Peloton's ad fail, tracking down the actress who starred in the original and shooting a followup that leverages the narrative consumers constructed for the character she portrayed, with social media comments centering around her apparent unhappiness about getting an exercise bike and dislike of having to ride it to please a judgemental husband.
In the more lighthearted Aviation spot, the actress portrays what appears to be the same woman only now she is having a drink with her friends who aren't judging her so she can relax.
The tweet from Reynolds, who has more than 15 million followers, gives Aviation a chance to get involved in the conversation in a playful way. It is also the latest example of the actor being a savvy digital marketer, having previously launched clever social media campaigns for his role in films like "Pokemon Detective Pikachu" and "Deadpool," as well as in an effort for Peak Games.
Several brands have tried to use other companies' marketing messages to their advantage. For example, Coors Light released a smart beer tap in select bars that dispensed free beer whenever Bud Light said something negative about Coors on television or social media. When these comments were detected, the tap handle would light up and buy a free round of beer for those in the bar. The effort came in reaction to Bud Light's Super Bowl ad which criticized Coors and Miller for using corn syrup.
Popeyes took advantage of a mistake by Chick-fil-A, which had to walk back an email promoting National Chicken Sandwich Day on Nov. 3 — a Sunday — when Chick-fil-A is closed. Popeyes stepped up to the opportunity by bringing back a popular chicken sandwich offering that same day, as its stores remain open on Sundays.
Brands that can capture the consumers' point of view and take part in a conversation around negative publicity for another brand stand to benefit if they get the right tone, as consumers are often looking for entertaining content to consume and share on social media.