In the spring of 2018 — in the days before Peloton was ubiquitous — the company set out to make a TV ad cool enough to wipe away the perception that its internet-connected bike was a suburban mom thing.
CEO and now-billionaire John Foley — a former president of ecommerce at Barnes & Noble — wanted to shoot for the moon, suggesting licensing tracks from bands he loved, including The Rolling Stones. Why not? The music budget was triple what it usually would be, according to a former employee.
Eventually, Peloton landed Jay-Z’s “On to the Next One,” which brought the company a measure of cachet. A few months later, Peloton’s pull was such that it could ask — and get — Meghan Trainor to record a cover of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” in less than a week for another ad, says the former employee.
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