Influencers; Not a New Phenomenon – Part 2

Back to the Peloton story – while their marketing strategy was seemingly abrasive and a “disaster”, it did yield 9.5 million views since it’s November 21st debut. That’s ~140,000 people a day.  That’s just the YouTube impressions, not counting holiday advertising on broadcast media and all the social media impressions. While they were imploding due to their “insensitive” ads, there was a momentum building on an “exclusive” platform with massive reach and penetration.

In late 2018, Benji Bronk started talking about his Peloton experience.  For those of you who know Benji, you can skip ahead…for the rest of you, Benji is an occasionally-on-air personality and writer for the Howard Stern show.  Yes, that Howard Stern. Howard has an audience on satellite radio that has 32 million subscribers and draws ~10 million listeners each week. While, yes, the shear numbers are greater – the Peloton 9.5 million vs. Howards ~10 million – there are two key pieces that Howard has that Peloton needs; trust and attention.

Howard is the ultimate influencer. Because he hasn’t put his name on a million products, his listeners are always looking for ways to connect with him. The companies that advertise with him know this. There are dozens of advertisers that routinely spend large chunks of their ad budget on satellite radio, because it works. Even better than paying for produced spots or on-air live reads on the Stern Show (which are always a hilarious disaster), the organic product discussion is probably the most influential.

Howard has been sharing with us his relationship with Peloton for about 6 months now.  He references his trainer, who has called in to the show on occasion, and has detailed the experience, benefits, and frequency of his use of the product.  He has also repeatedly criticized some of the nuance of the experience (he doesn’t like when his trainer sings along with the music) and has created an impression of realism that is the hallmark of influencer marketing.

Check in next week for more fun and free opinions, and, hopefully, a point…

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