Mentality Matters: Peloton Takes Back the Narrative with its Chris Noth Ad… Then Loses it Again

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Mentality Matters: Peloton Takes Back the Narrative with its Chris Noth Ad…
Then Loses it Again

December 17, 2021

On December 9, HBO Max aired the first episode of the highly anticipated ‘Sex and the City’ reboot. While the conversation leading up to the show’s release had centered around the absence of one leading actress, Kim Cattral, the focus quickly shifted once the episode aired and Chris Noth’s character, known to fans as “Mr. Big,” died from a heart attack after completing his one thousandth Peloton ride.

Data: Newswhip; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

This unfortunate positioning for Peloton within the highly anticipated series left the brand scrambling amongst public discussions about the character’s death being linked to his Peloton use and the subsequent drop in the brand’s stock price.

Peloton moved quickly with Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a preventative cardiologist and member of Peloton’s health and wellness advisory council, releasing a statement to The Times citing Mr. Big’s extravagant lifestyle as the cause of his fatal heart attack, adding that “riding his Peloton Bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event.”

But Peloton’s response did not end there.

Incredibly, the brand created an ad in less than 48 hours in partnership with Maximum Effort, a digital marketing agency co-founded by Ryan Reynolds and George Dewey.

The ad starred Chris Noth and provided a clever response to the unflattering product placement in the ‘Sex and the City’ reboot.

The ad was posted on Peloton’s social media accounts on December 12th; Peloton’s stock added $900 million in value on Monday following the ad’s debut and their social engagement skyrocketed.

Chris Noth Teams Up With Ryan Reynolds...YouTube video

What insights does this story and its multiple dimensions offer for brands?

To get some context on the layers of Peloton’s role in the popular ‘Sex and the City’ reboot and the brand’s speedy public response, review the chronology of major moments below, as told by a representative sample of online news articles throughout the story’s continuing timeline.

Keep in mind these articles and videos are just a handful of the thousands upon thousands of articles, opinions, social posts, videos, comments, etc. generated by this major viral moment.

Most actionable moments don’t reach this level of virality or last this long but these “big moments” are useful for gaining and sharing insights.

Photo by Tony Webster https://www.flickr.com/people/diversey/

For example, the initial spotlight quickly shifted from buzz around the sequel of the popular ‘Sex and the City’ series, to shock at the death of a popular character, to spotlighting Peloton as the potential cause of death, to Peloton’s resulting stock drop, to Peloton’s quick responses on social media, to their creation of an ad starring Chris Noth that expertly addressed the negative product placement, all in a matters of days.

Peloton expertly navigated this situation and turned a potential branding nightmare into a win within an impossibly tight timeframe. But this story isn’t just a best-in-class example of Advertising and PR, it’s also a potential opportunity for other brands in the exercise & wellness space and beyond to enter the conversation and capitalize on the viral and evolving story.

And then just like that…the story turned again.

On December 16, The Hollywood Reporter broke a story that two women had stepped forward and accused Noth of sexual assault.

Within hours, Pelton removed the new ad featuring Noth and stated it had been unaware of the allegations when it created and launched the ad and that “every single sexual assault accusation must be taken seriously.”

How would your brand have approached this story?

1. Does your brand have a way of monitoring PR controversies and public sentiment that allows for quick decisioning (such as Peloton’s quick ad creation)?

2. If you were a competitor of Peloton, would you have targeted, blocked, or monitored this emerging story when the episode first aired?

3. If you were a competitor of Peloton, would your action have changed after the story evolved and Peloton released their creative addressing the episode?

4. What about when the narrative turned again and Pelton pulled the ad following public allegations of sexual assault against Chris Noth?

Source: CNBC https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/16/peloton-removes-viral-chris-noth-ad-after-sexual-assault-allegations.html

Click this link to participate in a poll on these questions, and we’ll share the results with you via email.

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Peloton ‘And Just like That’ Story Chronology with representative content samples

Mentality Matters: Brand Insights from Virgil Abloh’s Sudden Passing

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Mentality Matters: Brand Insights from Virgil Abloh’s Sudden Passing

December 10, 2021

Virgil Abloh was a trailblazer in every sense of the word, and the announcement of his death due to cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, at the age of 41 came as a shock to many.

Abloh, a first-generation Ghanaian American, was known for the influence he had on the contemporary fashion landscape through the creation of his luxury fashion label, Off-White, as well as his leadership as artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear division.

Abloh’s influence and creativity extended far beyond the world of fashion. For example, he:

  • Made it his mission to mentor and support the talents of young Black creators,
  • Had a thriving DJ career that included performances at Lollapalooza and Coachella,
  • Created cover art for artists including Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Yeezus,
  • Designed furniture including the popular Markerad collection for Ikea, and
  • Had a solo exhibition, “Figures of Speech,” at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

This list, shockingly, is not comprehensive, and represents just a few of Abloh’s accomplishments outside of his extensive and important work in fashion.

Virgil Abloh preferred to view himself as a “maker” rather than just a designer, and his curiosity and talent allowed him to impact culture through many lenses.

Virgil Abloh’s death was announced on November 28 and quickly became a top story, as his death represents a narrative on Black artists, health & wellness, fashion, music, art, and more.

What insights does this story and its multiple dimensions offer for brands?

Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech Author jpellgen https://www.flickr.com/photos/jpellgen/

To get some context, review the chronology of major moments below, as told by a representative sample of online news articles throughout the story’s continuing timeline.

Keep in mind these articles and videos are just a handful of the thousands upon thousands of articles, opinions, social posts, videos, comments, etc. generated by this major viral moment.

Most actionable moments don’t reach this level of virality or last this long but these “big moments” are useful for gaining and sharing insights.

For example, the spotlight quickly shifted from the announcement of Virgil Abloh’s death, to additional information on his private battle with a rare form of cancer, to high profile friends of the designer playing tribute to him and his work, to brands he had ties to honoring him at shows and in stores, to Art Basel recognition, all in a matters of days.

Virgil Abloh’s connection to brands was far reaching, as the founder of the cult brand Off-White and the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear division. With Off-White, Abloh collaborated with dozens of premium brands and companies, including Rimowa, Mercedes Benz, the NBA, Levi’s, Moncler, Jimmy Choo, Kith, Timberland, Byredo, and, perhaps most notably, Nike.

Virgil Abloh’s first ad campaign for Louis Vuitton, on MLK Day 2019 Author Steve Jurvetson https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/

How would your brand have approached this story and all the content it has generated?

1. Does your brand routinely target content in the Fashion category?

2. Does your brand have a multicultural marketing strategy?

3. Does your brand distinguish specific content around death, or completely avoid headlines about death?

4. If you were a competitor of Nike (one of Virgil Abloh’s most notable collaborating brands), would you want to target or block news around Virgil Abloh?

Click this link to participate in a poll on these questions, and we’ll share the results with you via email.

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Virgil Abloh Story Chronology with representative content samples

Mentality Matters: Brand Insights from the Rerelease of Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’

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Mentality Matters: Brand Insights from the Rerelease of Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’

December 6, 2021

Taylor Swift’s rerelease of her album Red became a widespread news story and evolving cultural narrative over the past few weeks, with layers that included the topic of artist ownership in the music industry, nostalgic commentary on the Red album that was originally released in 2012, and new insight into Taylor’s past relationships—a topic she famously focuses on in her songwriting.

Swift’s official release of Red (Taylor’s Version) took place on November 12 and instantly became a cultural fixation because of Taylor Swift’s global star power, but buzz around the release was largely magnified because of the multifaceted nature of the album release.

What insights does this story and its multiple dimensions offer for brands?

To get some context, review the chronology of major moments below, as told by a representative sample of online news articles throughout the story’s continuing timeline.

Taylor Swift RED Tour (8642419792).jpg Author Jana Beamer https://www.flickr.com/people/94347223@N07/

Keep in mind these articles and videos are just a handful of the thousands upon thousands of articles, opinions, social posts, videos, comments, etc. generated by this major viral moment.

Most actionable moments don’t reach this level of virality or last this long but these “big moments” are useful for gaining and sharing insights.

For example, the spotlight quickly shifted from villainizing Scooter Braun for purchasing the masters to Swift’s music in 2019, to Taylor Swift’s actual album release and the updated contents of the “Taylor’s Version” album, to a massive response

against Jake Gyllenhaal, (who Swift’s relationship with in 2012 is believed to be the focus of All Too Well—10 Minute Version), back to Taylor Swift performing the new version of All Too Well on SNL, all in a matters of days.

Taylor Swift boasts one of the most expensive celebrity endorsements of all time with a $26 Million deal with Diet Coke, along with notable partnerships with Apple, CoverGirl, Keds, and Capital One.

With her massive global appeal and sponsorship deals, when Taylor Swift stories break, brands best be prepared to act.

A Conversation with Jake Gyllenhaal: Author Daniel Benavides from Austin, TX https://www.flickr.com/people/52309209@N02

How would your brand have approached this story and all the content it has generated?

1. Does your brand routinely target content in the Music category?

2. Does your brand routinely target content in the Entertainment category?

3. If your brand had a way to distinguish content that is part of a larger story (e.g., Taylor Swift’s performance of All Too Well on SNL vs. Jake Gyllenhaal receiving public backlash from All Too Well relationship coverage), would you utilize this ability in your content selection for media campaigns?

4. If your brand had a turnkey way to incorporate major cultural moments into your earned or paid media, would you utilize it?

Click this link to participate in a poll on these questions, and we’ll share the results with you via email.

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Red (Taylor’s Version) Story Chronology with representative content samples

November 11

Scooter Braun Reportedly Thought Taylor Swift Was Bluffing About Re-Recording Her Albums

November 12

Taylor Swift’s Re-Recordings Expose The Music Industry’s Chokehold On Intellectual Property

Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers’s ‘Red’ Duet, and 14 More New Songs

The Story Behind Taylor Swift’s 10-minute Version of ‘All Too Well,’ The Song Making Fans Lose Their Minds

Brands Are Feeling 22 After Taylor Swift’s New ‘Red’ Release

November 13

Taylor Swift Delivers Passionate Performance of ‘All Too Well’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’

Cardi B Reacts to Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ Short Film

November 14

On SNL, Taylor Swift Stopped Time

A Lot Of Taylor Swift’s Famous Friends (And One Famous Ex) Came To See Her Perform On “SNL”

November 15

Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ and the Weaponization of Memory

Taylor Swift’s ‘I Bet You Think About Me’ Lyrics Seem Full Of Jabs At Ex Jake Gyllenhaal

November 16

Scooter Braun Sells Taylor Swift’s Big Machine Masters for Big Payday

Dionne Warwick has a message for Jake Gyllenhaal about Taylor Swift’s scarf

A Comprehensive Explanation of Why Taylor Swift Fans Seem Ready to Commit Homicide on Jake Gyllenhaal

It’s me, Taylor Swift’s scarf. I’m here to tell my side of ‘All Too Well’ (Scarf’s Version)

November 17

iHeart Promises to Only Play Taylor Swift’s New Versions of Her Songs, Once They’re Out

Taylor Swift’s Quest for Justice

Jake Is ‘Mortified’ Taylor ‘Targeted’ Him For Dating a 25-Year-Old on Her New Album

Mentality Matters: Brand Insights from Aaron Rodgers’ COVID Vaccine Wrangle

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Mentality Matters: Brand Insights from Aaron Rodgers’ COVID Vaccine Wrangle

November 30, 2021

The story about Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers testing positive for COVID-19 played out online the past few weeks, after he returned to the football field following a mandated quarantine.

His positive COVID-19 diagnosis was first reported November 3 and instantly became controversial because Rodgers claimed back in August that he had been “immunized.”

What insights does this story and its multiple dimensions offer for brands?

To get some context, review the chronology of major moments below, as told by a representative sample of online news articles throughout the story’s continuing timeline.

COVID-19 vaccination - U.S. Secretary of Defense, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Keep in mind these articles and videos are just a handful of the thousands upon thousands of articles, opinions, social posts, videos, comments, etc. generated by this major viral moment.

Most actionable moments don’t reach this level of virality or last this long but these “big moments” are useful for gaining and sharing insights.

Like, notice how quickly this one went from news to controversy on Day 1: the story broke, and within hours, widespread opinions appeared questioning Rodgers’ veracity.

Then two days later on November 5, it took a major turn, fueled by Rodgers’ appearance on a Sirius XM show, where he responded to the criticism.

How did the biggest brand that employs him as a spokesperson respond?

At first, there was not much of a response but five days in, on November 8, following the Rodgers-less Packers’ loss to Kansas City the day before, a brand spokesperson said it encourages vaccinations but respects his right to his own personal opinion.

Opinions continued to proliferate.

The NFL fined his team and him.

The Packers activated him for the next game.

He played and beat Seattle.

State-Fram-Insurance-Office-Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The next several days saw stories that were reactionary trajectories off the main narrative:

  • Punditry and humorous commentary,
  • The NFL announced new COVID protocols ahead of Thanksgiving games, and
  • Health professionals decried the continued spread of disinformation about the vaccines and alternative treatments.

How would your brand have approached this story and all the content it has generated?

1. Does your brand routinely target content in the Sports category?

2. Does your brand routinely avoid news about COVID-19?

3. Does your brand have a strategy for avoiding misinformation?

4. If your brand competed in the insurance category, how would you approach content relating to this story?

Click this link to participate in a poll on these questions, and we’ll share the results with you via email.

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Aaron Rodgers Vaccine Story Chronology with representative content samples

November 3

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers tests positive for COVID-19, source says

Did Aaron Rodgers Lie About His COVID-19 Vaccination Status?

Opinion: Aaron Rodgers has COVID. He lied about being vaccinated, and being a team player

November 4

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers caught in his big vaccination lie

November 5

Aaron Rodgers says he’s unvaccinated, takes ivermectin and bashes ‘woke mob’

Aaron Rodgers Attacks NFL and ‘Woke Mob’ of Critics in Defending His Unvaccinated Status

Packers’ Aaron Rodgers Says He’s Taking Joe Rogan’s Advice On Treating COVID, Is Using Ivermectin

What State Farm Is Saying About Aaron Rodgers’ Endorsement Status Amid Covid Vaccine Controversy

State Farm stays quiet after Aaron Rodgers’ COVID-19 vaccine comments and MLK comparison

November 6

Packers’ Aaron Rodgers loses endorsement deal with healthcare group after Q&A regarding COVID-19 vaccine

SNL’ jabs Aaron Rodgers’ COVID-19 vaccine stance: ‘It’s my body and my COVID’

November 7

Without Aaron Rodgers, Packers and Jordan Love manage just one TD in loss to Chiefs

November 8

Breaking: State Farm Announces Decision On Aaron Rodgers

The ‘woke mob’ didn’t come for Aaron Rodgers

November 9

Aaron Rodgers’ fiancée, Shailene Woodley, slams media for ‘disparaging’ athlete amid COVID vaccine controversy

Aaron Rodgers takes ‘full responsibility’ for comments about COVID-19 vaccination status

Packers fined $300K, Aaron Rodgers, Allen Lazard fined $14K for violation of COVID protocols

November 13

Green Bay Packers activate QB Aaron Rodgers off reserve/COVID-19 list

Scientists react to Aaron Rodgers’ comments on Covid-19 vaccine and treatments

November 14

Misty-Eyed and Tired, Rodgers Wins in Return From COVID

Post-COVID, Aaron Rodgers won’t do in-person press conference, opting for Zoom instead

Aaron Rodgers’ endorsement partners are mostly silent on his COVID controversy, a sign they’re likely taking a wait-and-see approach

November 15

Aaron Rodgers Returns to Play for Packers After Testing Positive for COVID, Quarantining

Karma may still want a word with Aaron Rodgers

November 16

Punchlines about Aaron Rodgers’ vaccination controversy keep popping up

November 17

NFL chief medical officer pushes back on Aaron Rodgers’ claim that some COVID-19 protocols are ‘not based in science’

Amid rising COVID cases, NFL updates protocols ahead of Thanksgiving

‘So Disappointing;’ Stanford Doctor Chastises Aaron Rodgers For COVID Vaccine Misinformation

Brands and Agencies Achieve True Future-Forward Marketing With Sightly’s New Brand Mentality™ Platform

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Brands and Agencies Achieve True Future-Forward Marketing With Sightly’s New Brand Mentality™ Platform

March 5, 2021

First-of-Its-Kind Solution Anticipates Threats and Opportunities and Responds With Speed at Scale

Brand mentality and the future-forward marketing revolution

NEW YORK, Mar. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ – Sightly, a leading marketing and media technology company, today announced the launch of its Brand Mentality™ platform, which combines emotional and cultural intelligence to empower brands and agencies to anticipate threats and opportunities and respond moment-by-moment in market at speed and scale across multiple publishers and contexts.

“We’ve been dealing with brand suitability and safety for years now,” said Sightly Chief Revenue Officer and General Manager, Adam Katz. “And with everything going on in the world today, we realized that you have to establish a

mentality before you can truly deal with suitability and safety. There are too many gray areas. You have to know how you want to act in market before you can determine what is suitable and safe. Then you can move with speed to drive outcomes and respond to events that are happening in real time.”

Because each mentality is unique, one brand’s risk is often another brand’s opportunity. Brand Mentality™ is built to transcend the typical one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, it responds dynamically to events and trends for each unique client, nimbly scaling responses across all appropriate digital publishers, networks and channels.

By helping a brand define its unique mentality, Sightly is able to identify emerging opportunities as well as threats from the constant barrage of news, reactions, viral events and trends—and then inject the brand’s true opinions across media and marketing channels. Massive amounts of data gathered from social, traditional and popular media provide an unparalleled depth of cultural and emotional intelligence.

“You can’t overlook the importance of speed now that virality has become a major factor,” said Marissa Price, SVP of Client Services at Sightly. “In my experience working with many brands over the years at both media agencies and solutions providers, trending topics have never gained traction as quickly as they do now. Opportunities come and go in a matter of days. With Brand Mentality™, we can help brands jump into cultural moments when it’s right, and gracefully sidestep them when it’s not.”

social listening

The accelerated pace of change has seriously compressed marketing calendars. eMarketer reported late last year that many U.S. agencies and brand marketers had cut the media planning time in half from pre-pandemic levels. One Sightly customer, a major CPG company, echoed this sentiment saying, “Brand Mentality™ has opened our eyes to the reality of media planning today. We need to prepare for all the crazy things happening in the world.”

“From the beginning, Sightly has innovated to accommodate customer needs,” said Ralph Mack, CEO. “It’s a credit to our team that we recognized the extraordinary problems affecting marketers in the past year, seized the opportunity and innovated a first-of-its-kind, next-generation platform. That’s the Sightly way. It’s a game-changing solution and our customers couldn’t be more thrilled.”

For more information on Sightly’s Brand Mentality™ platform, listen to our recent discussion on eMarketer’s popular “Behind the Numbers” podcast, Brand Mentality™ and the future-forward marketing revolution.

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