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The Drum Show: that Peloton ad, elections and 2020 predictions

Sophie Lewis, David Walsh and Michael Frohlich joined The Drum's editor Stephen Lepitak on the show this week

The Drum has unveiled this week's instalment of its online video series The Drum Show, which look at the big talking points in media and marketing from the past seven days.

The latest episode was hosted by editor Stephen Lepitak. He was joined by VMLY&R's chief strategy officer Sophie Lewis; Ogilvy chief exec Michael Frohlich; and David Walsh, Mindshare's chief business officer.

The WPP cohort kicked off proceedings by dissecting Peloton's parody-tastic holiday ad, which has been causing a stir this week having endured 48 hours of social and media mockery timed with a tanking stock price.

Lewis noted that the creative — which featured a beautiful wife in a beautiful house becoming ostensibly more fulfilled by the stationary bike her husband bought her — seemed outdated for such a young startup.

She compared the misstep to Pepsi's now-infamous Kendall Jenner ad, saying it didn't seem like the advertisers had gleaned insights from its target audience.

"Mistakes often happen when brands fail to have real conversations with real people," she said. "That lack of understanding can lead to the stage where you produce a piece of communication that gets out into the world without someone saying 'hang on, is that going to do what we need and want'?".

On to another controversial topic, Frohlich discussed the PR twists and turns we've seen as part of the forthcoming UK general election.

In lieu of a crystal ball, the trio also took a shot at predicting what 2020 will hold for the advertising industry.

Frohlich predicted that "uber-connectivity" and the advent of 5G was going to revolutionise connected devices and how brands communicate using them. "It's going to bring a massive year of change for the technology perspective," he added.

With the advent of Disney+, meanwhile, Walsh mused over whether "subscription overload" would take its toll on consumers.

For Lewis, following on from a "decade of realisation" about its working practices, as the ad industry enters the roaring 20s it will be forced to be more honest about the products and services it's promoting.

It will also need to accept a more "collective responsibility" on issues like climate change and sustainability, she added, with both Fohlich and Walsh agreeing that environmentalism would continue to permeate agency and brand discussions through 2020.

All agreed that if 2020 is to be "the year of" anything, it should be the year of "partnership," watch the episode in full to find out why.

Also this week, we looked at why Unilever has appointed a chief marketing and digital officer in Conny Braams and BBH's Audi pitch win.

Elsewhere, Kirsten Stagg, head of marketing for Skoda UK offered up her Bullshit Buzzword, while Pelé and Puma took home the Creative Work of the Week accolade.

The Drum Show airs on Twitter and Linked each Friday afternoon. Keep your eyes peeled for a very festive end-of-year edition next week.

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