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Peloton featured in Sex and the City reboot – shares plunge

  • There is a direct link between popular culture and wider market sentiment.
  • Peloton’s share price dropped heavily after being featured in a SATC reboot episode.
  • Shoe brand Vans which features in Squid Game had more than 7,800% surge in sales.

Product placement is an important marketing tool but it can have a profound effect on a brand’s perceived value, either positively or negatively.

Whether it’s a commercial deal in which a brand pays a television or film production company to feature their product, or if said product is simply the chosen item to be used in a show or scene, the way in which it is used is intrinsically linked to how the wider market will receive the product. 

Recently, the share price in workout equipment company Peloton took a substantive dive after one of the company’s exercise bikes appeared in a scene of HBO’s long-awaited reboot of Sex and the City.

SPOILER ALERT: don’t read if you don’t want to know the plot line. 

The scene involved the death of favourite leading character Mr Big, who ultimately has a heart attack and dies after a workout on a Peloton exercise bike.

Peloton’s share price bombed more than 11% following the episode airing.

To put into context the link between popular culture and market sentiment was no more obvious when Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ emerged as the biggest series launch in its history, spurring sales of shoe brand Vans by a jaw-dropping 7,800% (as reported by Grafa).

The shoe brand Vans were worn by the inmates in the show.

In recent times the Bond films, which have featured actors such as Daniel Craig and Naomie Harris, have helped the sales of many brands. Not least of which have been Aston Martin cars, Dell tech gadgets, Omega watches, and Triumph Motorcycles.

While globally iconic brands such as Coca Cola have featured in a plethora of films over many years as simple product placements, nowadays brands and film TV production companies partner in a more strategic way such as the Bond franchise.

And the reason is simple. If you look at the 2000 film Cast Away, Tom Hanks’ co-star is the inanimate volleyball courtesy of Wilson Sporting Goods.

There are estimates that the ball’s screen time was worth more than A$1.85m in advertising value alone but for this exposure, Wilson paid absolutely nothing.

While estimates vary, the standard product placement cost for a brief movie mention on average is about US$22,000 per placement. For a traditional television commercial to run on a national campaign it costs about US$392,500. 

The number of viewers who watch a film at least once, whether it is in a movie theatre, on DVD, or streamed digitally is tens of millions, if not more. That is exposure.

It’s easy to see how a product placement is intrinsically linked to a brand and therefore its company, which can have a profound effect on how that company performs depending on the nature of how that product is used.

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