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Audience personas are not a silver bullet

During the holiday season, the high-end exercise company Peloton released an ad with a simple enough concept: Man buys his wife a Peloton. She works out all year and loves it. Thanks husband the next Christmas for the wonderful gift. And yet. The internet exploded with controversy over the spot.

When we watched it, we sensed an overreliance on audience personas. Audience personas are a valuable marketing tool that help brands focus their content and speak to the right people. Unfortunately, some brands forget that these personas are only a framework, not real people.

Listen to the podcast, watch the video, or read the transcript below to learn:

  • Why we think the Peloton ad was spoiled by oversimplifying, over relying on a persona, and maybe some mediocre acting
  • What audience persona research may have told Peloton about their buyers, and how they applied it to their marketing
  • How to avoid Peloton’s missteps by considering audience personas as just one marketing tool out of many
  • Whether the Umault team can name all five Backstreet Boys. (It’s Nick, AJ, Howie, Brian, and Phil, right? Maybe?)

Key quotes

"Everybody's situation is different, even if you're throwing a persona at them. So you have to be careful. On the low end, it's inauthentic. On the high end, you're stereotyping." - Tory Merritt
"You have to understand when you do a persona, there is no one that fits that persona. You’re playing the law of averages." - Guy Bauer
"I guarantee you Peloton's people ... This all came from a good place. They said they read all these notes and they get them every day. And it's the curse of knowledge. They know that they get all those things. And they forgot that we don't know that, and it looks a little weird. But I also think there's a limit to how human a brand can be. At a certain point, you are a commercial enterprise and you are making money off of this. You ain't that cool. There's always going to be a line." - Guy Bauer
"If you can't tell the story in 30 seconds, then it's probably not the story that you want to tell in a 30-second spot." - Hope Morley

Videos we discuss in this episode

The Peloton holiday 2019 spot
(Note: We always prioritize linking directly to a brand’s page when we discuss their work, but Peloton has taken this ad down as of March 2020.)

Misty Copeland for Under Armour

Burger King’s Moldy Whopper

You can listen to the episode using the player embedded above, or you can read a full transcript below.

Episode transcript

Hope Morley: Hello, and welcome to So You Need A Video. The only podcast-

Guy Bauer: We're almost sure.

Hope Morley: About how not to make a corporate video. I'm Hope Morley.

Tory Merritt: I'm Tory Merritt.

Guy Bauer: And I'm Guy Bauer. And I heard someone's stomach rumbling.

Tory Merritt: That was me, sorry. The water just trickled.

Guy Bauer: Okay, you hungry?

Tory Merritt: A little bit. I only had cereal this morning because I was lazy and this is what I get. This is what I get.

Hope Morley: That's not enough for me.

Tory Merritt: Yeah.

Hope Morley: Anyway. So today on the podcast, we were inspired to talk about this topic based on something that was ... It was in the Twitter verse a couple months ago. But some people might remember the Peloton ad that was getting a lot of buzz around the holidays. So does someone want to tell us what that ad was and obviously we'll link to the video as well?

Tory Merritt: Sure, I can kick this off.

Hope Morley: Yeah, describe the ad and then say what people's problems with it were?

Tory Merritt: So the ad was a very polished following of a day in the life of, I would say, an older millennial woman going from like wanting a Peloton. Well, I guess they never technically say she wanted it, right? She got it as a gift.

Hope Morley: It was a Christmas gift.

Tory Merritt: From her husband. And then it shows her not really loving working out. And then by the end, like she loves her Peloton and she loves sweating it out in the house. And it's brought all this joy to her life that she had no idea it could bring. Does that sum it up pretty well?

Guy Bauer: Well, that was the intent, I think, but then the spot is very ... She's in distress for most of the spot-

Tory Merritt: It's the acting.

Hope Morley: She looks worried.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, yeah. It looks like ... And so what people were saying is that it looks like the husband gave his in-shape wife a Peloton-

Hope Morley: His already skinny, fit looking wife.

Tory Merritt: Yeah.

Guy Bauer: A Peloton to lose another pound.

Tory Merritt: Well, and her face the whole time is like, “Oh I love spinning…”

Guy Bauer: Yeah. I mean, when you take a step back, I don't think that that's what Peloton's intent was. Obviously, it wasn't right.

Hope Morley: No, obviously not.

Guy Bauer: I think it was just poor execution that led to it. But I think where we came up with this podcast topic is we were talking about how, of course, Peloton did have good intentions.

Tory Merritt: Right.

Guy Bauer: And that probably came out of having really awesome personas on who buys Pelotons, right?

Tory Merritt: Yeah. Demo research.

Guy Bauer: And they probably had it nailed down to a science that it is a woman that looks like her. Has the house like her. Has the, were there one or two kids, I forget?

Hope Morley: There's at least ... There's one kid I think.

Tory Merritt: Yeah.

Hope Morley: It's someone who's like in their late 30s, a professional person because she's shown going to work and having to work out at home in the morning. So it's like you're busy, you have a kid, you're trying to find time to work out. And it's hard, but it's important to you ... Oh hey, this might be my life. They might be talking to me except I don't live in a beautiful house like that.

Guy Bauer: She wasn't late 30s. She's young. No?

Hope Morley: Mid to late thirties.

Tory Merritt: I think she was supposed to be.

Guy Bauer: All right. Mid thirties, okay.

Hope Morley: Yeah.

Tory Merritt: 34 to 39-ish.

Guy Bauer: Thirties. Definitely 30s.

Hope Morley: Yeah 30s. There was a five year old kid in there.

Tory Merritt: We had to have the socio economic standing to fit within the price of a Peloton.

Guy Bauer: They had a beautiful house.

Hope Morley: Yes. To buy a $3000 exercise bike.

Tory Merritt: With a subscription as well.

Guy Bauer: Right. Peloton spots always make sure you know that it is an expensive house. Always.

Hope Morley: Yes. Well they're very aspirational as a brand.

Tory Merritt: With the view and yeah.

Guy Bauer: What else? What else do you think was in the persona?

Tory Merritt: Well, like we talked, I'm sure it's that mindset of well, I already care about what I look like. I think that was part of it. Is someone who already values the personal well being and the well being as we call it now which is hair and makeup, working out, the right foods, all that stuff. So visually, she's like that. And then she's married so I won't even get into everything that goes along with that when we're doing personas. But it's just the vibe of someone who's already doing pretty well in life so it's a luxury item that it's like the cherry on top. It's not ... Which allows them to say, I'm not here to say I'm going to change your whole life. I'm just going to make it a little bit better. Like that thing you can't get to, I'm going to help you get to it.

Tory Merritt: But I think the issue that a lot of people called out is there's nowhere in the spot that it's very obvious that she wanted it. It wasn't that this was a rational choice by the person using it to ask her husband. He's like, "If I could get one thing for Christmas, what is it?"

Hope Morley: Because that's something that I actually wondered if that was in the persona is that there's the person wants the Peloton, but doesn't want to spend on the money on the Peloton.

Guy Bauer: Bingo.

Tory Merritt: They feel guilty spending it when they have a kid.

Hope Morley: They feel guilty spending $3000 on themselves because they've got a kid. They're busy, blah, blah, blah. So they're trying not to invest in themselves. So I think that that's what the ad was going for-

Guy Bauer: Bingo.

Tory Merritt: Great call out.

Hope Morley: Was that they would ... That she did want it, but didn't want to spend $3000 on herself because it doesn't feel like-

Tory Merritt: Right. It's like a passive want versus an active want.

Hope Morley: Exactly. But that doesn't come across.

Tory Merritt: Yeah, there is no like oh like I've spent ... You know what I mean? Baby needs something or the kid's in preschool that I have to pay for. Like a little bit more of that which is showing that it's the woman's rational choice or logical choice that she's made versus like, “Hey, here's a bike, get on it and pedal up, sweetheart.”

Guy Bauer: Yeah, yeah.

Tory Merritt: Like how it kind of came across.

Hope Morley: Yeah, keep it tight, babe.

Guy Bauer: I think you're exactly right. Most likely if I were to read the persona that was given to the agency that made that spot. The persona said the primary user is the wife. The primary buyer is the man.

Tory Merritt: Yeah.

Hope Morley: Which there's a broader implication here of these households that the man has access to $3000 that the wife-

Tory Merritt: Doesn't have.

Hope Morley: Like expensive gifts like that. Like it's the Lexus commercials.

Tory Merritt: The car.

Hope Morley: Yeah, it's like buying a car for someone for Christmas. You're like, “Don't you have a conversation about how to spend your money as a family?” Anyway, but that's just my own issue with it.

Guy Bauer: And I think where ... And so, what brought on this topic that we're going to discuss right now is that at what point do personas actually ... Like we encourage personas. We love them. We use them. I really won't make a video without one. But at what point do they become a little dangerous?

Tory Merritt: So to me, the initial use of a persona is figuring out how to get someone's attention. So where are they looking for media? Where are they hanging out? Like what are their fears? What are their challenges? Using that to figure out where should whatever I'm making, say it's a video or a spot, where should that go? But the problem is is you're trying ... When you try too hard to empathize, I think, empathy is this big topic that we're all talking about. Like empathy is the customer journey. It's the customer experience. You need to empathize. But there is a limit to how much you can empathize without actually being that person. And I think that's where the danger comes in is on the low end, it just is inauthentic, because you aren't them. You aren't in their situation.

Tory Merritt: Everybody's situation is different, even if you're throwing a persona at them. So you have to be careful. On the low end, it's inauthentic, the high end, you're stereotyping and you're actually getting into legal repercussions. So the difference for me is it should only be used so far or so much. There's things that go too deep for something that's impersonal. Which I think this is the case where the most you can do with the spot. There was no conversation you could have to follow up and be like, hey to clarify-

Hope Morley: As the brand, you mean?

Tory Merritt: Yeah, as the brand. As the people making the video. That you're making it in a mode where you can't follow up and get into a conversation. So that's what dangerous is if it's too impersonal a piece of content, there's a limit to your ability to authentically empathize with people and you need to know that limit. And there's certain things, for a video where it's not a conversation, you just need to stop. Like it's, you've gone too far and I think this, the issue was a relationship between a husband and a wife in this case. It's dangerous. You don't ... Everybody's situation is different. You've just, you've gone too deep in trying to empathize in my opinion.

Guy Bauer: Yeah. Well, and I think it's you're being one dimensional. So I used to work for a news radio station that shall not be named and it was ... Oh, you would love it, it was like pre-Me Too and everything. It was unbelievably terrible. But anyway, their whole thing was we're going to be the first news station for women. So they gave us a persona-

Hope Morley: That's never going to go well.

Guy Bauer: They gave us a persona for Susan. Which, by the way, like-

Tory Merritt: Karen.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, I know. Like that's such a ... And it was all run by men.

Hope Morley: I was going to say they gave you a young man, at the time.

Guy Bauer: Right. Correct. No, but like the station management was all like old men. So, of course, they would pick the name Susan. It's like you know what I mean? Generic enough that all guys are like yeah, Susan. All right. I'm dabbling in dangerous waters here. Okay, they gave us like Susan has this. Susan does this. She likes to do crafts. She does this. So I want everything dedicated towards Susan. So we would do news reports on like where to get the best craft supplies. “Hi, I'm Guy Bauer, reporting from Chicago. I'm outside of Hobby Lobby.” And it's like it became goofy and insane. Because like ... You understand like when you do a persona, there is no one that fits that persona.

Tory Merritt: No.

Hope Morley: Susan is not real.

Guy Bauer: You're trying to play the law of averages.

Tory Merritt: It's like the unicorn candidate kind of thing.

Guy Bauer: You're just playing the law ... The rule of ... The law, whatever. You're playing the average, right?

Tory Merritt: Yeah.

Guy Bauer: So when you go really deep into that persona and put your blinders on and just make ... And don't use ... Don't take a step back and use logic for a little bit, you run a big risk. And I think Peloton had no idea what they were putting out would do that. Now the conspiracy theorist in me says maybe they did. Who knows?

Hope Morley: Because we're talking about it still.

Guy Bauer: Oh hell yeah. And you never know. I mean the women that fit that demo-

Tory Merritt: I think their sales did go up or their stock went up I saw after all this.

Guy Bauer: Their stock went up?

Tory Merritt: Yeah, I believe so.

Guy Bauer: I bet you women in the demo did go, “I don't know what's wrong with everybody? This is a great thing.”

Hope Morley: “I wish my husband would buy me a Peloton.”

Guy Bauer: Correct. So you never know. It could have worked. But I would say that most brands don't want the blowback that they got where Ryan Reynolds is making commercial at your ... Making fun of you to promote his gin, I don't think that those are the kinds of things that brands want. And I think what happened is they just put their blinders on. And they forgot to take a step back and like, wait, at what point are we getting a little absurd here?

Hope Morley: And I think ... So you were talking about the problem of getting too specific in your persona. Of like you're just always talking to Susan at her craft table. But there's a bigger issue is also being too broad with your personas. And my favorite example of this is that Prince Charles and Ozzy Osbourne are both white man of about the same age who live in London. But like if you're trying to market anything to them, they're completely different people and there's no way that you could to talk to them. You have to look at their interests and all this stuff. But if you're just looking at rich, white men that are of the same age who live in the same area, you would find both of them in the same bucket, right?

Guy Bauer: That's amazing. That's brilliant.

Hope Morley: Yeah, but ... I didn't come up with that myself.

Guy Bauer: Oh, I loved it. That's so true.

Hope Morley: But so you do need to look at like, okay, well how are they different? How do they live?

Tory Merritt: Right, if you dig in deep enough with the research or finding what kind of ... What they're reading? What they're looking at? What's important to them? All of that, I think you're still fairly safe. Where things get iffy is when you get into personal relationships with these spots with people that aren't real people. I think, we've talked about this too, like how do you solve for this then if you're ... You don't want to be inauthentic. But I do think, in advertising, we have a responsibility to be representative and you do need to show people that look like who's actually out there. That's a responsibility. But you shouldn't empathize beyond your capacity.

Tory Merritt: And I think that's where we get issues is we've got people making spots about people that they think they know. But they didn't ... How much did you talk to anybody to let them tell your story? So we've talked about maybe the solve here is if this had been, we said, awareness type videos, maybe testimonials aren't the way to go. But maybe you didn't have to make that one the testimonial. Pick a different spot. Talk to a real person. Let them tell their story. Don't try to empathize with them beyond what you're capable of. Let them talk about it. Let them explain it. And you're not stepping in for someone. You're still providing representation for people but letting them tell their own story versus trying to tell a fake story for them.

Hope Morley: And that was part of Peloton's defense where they're like oh we've gotten so many letters from people that how this changed their life and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But it's like yeah, so they made a fake testimonial looking thing. They even made it look like a fake testimonial-

Guy Bauer: Right, with the selfies.

Hope Morley: Because of the selfie cams and all this kind of stuff. Instead of just thinking maybe we should use ... If testimonials, if that authenticity is what we want to get through and this is the point that we're trying to make. Maybe we should just find these women and ask them to be on camera. And you're Peloton so ... And they're going to be rich and fit so they're going to look great on camera.

Tory Merritt: Or at least willing to ... They value being able to buy a Peloton. But that's one of the solves and people just don't like being it shoved ... Lies are being told. We've talked about this too. I've interstitial cystitis and this is not something that you ever see in TV or anything and then on You— The only person I've ever seen TV with IC is the not very nice character at the end who's trying to manipulate everyone and she's using her disease to get out of things. And you're like ... Dude are you serious? Like anyone who actually has this disease hates your show now and hates you because you didn't ... Did you even talk to anyone?

Tory Merritt: It's ... All you had to do is maybe do a little research and talk to people and you could ... But the risk that you've run now is you've took something, someone never sees themselves in anything. And then, the only way they see themselves now is like this evil character. Versus maybe you talk to people and figure out like don't say that they're using food as an excuse. Like to me it's like you've tried to over ... You've overstepped your bounds and your capability to understand something based on what you think you know.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, I mean at the end like brands want to be more human and this ... I guarantee you Peloton's people ... This all came from a good place. And you're right. They said they read all these notes and they get them every day. And it's the curse of knowledge. Like so they know that they get all those things. And they forgot that we don't know that. And it looks a little weird. But I also think there's a limit to how human a brand can be. I mean at a certain point, you are a commercial enterprise and you are making money off of this so you ain't that cool. There's always going to be a line and I think that's where like Nike really does it really well.

Guy Bauer: Like I don't know how they get ... They go right up to the line. And I remember, what was the dust up? I remember-

Hope Morley: With Colin Kaepernick.

Tory Merritt: With Kaepernick?

Guy Bauer: Colin Kaepernick. People got upset. But Nike was like you know what? The people that get upset, they're not for us. I think the problem with Peloton is the people that got upset are for them.

Tory Merritt: Right. Well, and Nike used Colin Kaepernick. They didn't make up a narrative with someone and try to make it seem like he's Colin Kaepernick. And pick and choose the characteristics to try and tell it without ... Like that would have been a disaster.

Hope Morley: Oh my gosh, you can only imagine.

Guy Bauer: Like the Pepsi spot.

Tory Merritt: Yeah.

Guy Bauer: Like the Pepsi.

Hope Morley: Yeah, the Kylie Jenner one?

Guy Bauer: Yeah. Same thing.

Hope Morley: Yeah.

Tory Merritt: And don't make up the story.

Guy Bauer: Why fictionalize something that's ... Right, like a hot button.

Tory Merritt: Right. If it's real, use it, right? Actually that representation, I read an article, from Misty Copeland actually who does a lot with Under Armour actually.

Hope Morley: She's the African American ballerina if people don't know that.

Tory Merritt: Yes, yes. Yeah. And she was talking about like, "I will not be part of something that is not real. Like I work with brands and I'm on set and they're trying to tell me that do this, do that. And she’s just like I would never do that so I'm not going to."

Guy Bauer: Good for her.

Tory Merritt: Yeah, and that's what’s important. And she was saying too ... This is little off the topic, but seeing like crew and living what you're selling. She's like "On set, I see very few people of color and women. And yet, I have these brands that they want me to make a spot for them talking about how they've elevated the human experience and how they've helped support me. But they're not doing it for anybody else so it's going to backfire on them. I'm not going to be associated with that."

Guy Bauer: Yeah. Oh boy.

Tory Merritt: So tell real stories. Don't try to make up a fake story, I think, in cases where things are very sensitive. Don't try to over empathize beyond your capability.

Guy Bauer: I think the solution is you can't just look at one thing. If I'm flying an airplane and I only look at altitude, that doesn't save me from hitting a mountain. Or flipping over or whatever. Like persona is one instrument. And persona is effective when it's combined with three others.

Tory Merritt: And common sense.

Guy Bauer: Get the blinders off. And like there is no ... I think everyone's on this search for a panacea. I love that I know what that word means.

Tory Merritt: Yeah, he loves that word.

Hope Morley: We're all very proud.

Guy Bauer: It's not a panacea.

Tory Merritt: I’m like, pancetta?

Hope Morley: You are hungry.

Guy Bauer: There is no silver bullet. And unfortunately, I think what makes great marketing is just it's seeing the instruments. And then just using your human gut to make something good. And it backfired on Peloton because I think they just had too much, too too too much pressure or they relied too much on that one instrument persona. Because I know what they were doing. They were like, "Oh, this is going to nail it. Like right in the middle of the bullseye. Like this is everything. We have all this data and everything."

Guy Bauer: And it's almost like they let the AI make the spot. They forgot the one critical thing of like-

Hope Morley: They just tried to magic this person into existence.

Guy Bauer: Right.

Tory Merritt: Well data sometimes, it's misleading. 2016 election is great. People lie as Dr. House would say. Like even when you have this data. Like yeah, maybe we're pulling it from ... People aren't telling it to us. We're finding it. But at the same time, behavior is not as simple as just tracking what people are clicking on. Like you don't know if the reason they stopped, it's in the cart is because their kid’s crying. And maybe they're coming back to it. And you're hitting me with these emails. It's like I know, I'll get to it.

Tory Merritt: Like the danger is, like you said, over utilizing the data. Versus if you had just brought in a couple of different ... And I guarantee they did testing. So this also shows nothing is fail proof. But keeping in mind like the different opinions and having people who can think of things that you wouldn't. Maybe they aren't the target demographic. But like you said, we don't know that it was just the target ... Like maybe they did love it, but this wider range of other people being upset. Maybe they knew all of this, like you said, and it didn't matter. But it's remembering that people are still human. Data can only take you so far. Like brains and people behavior is not just the numbers that you're seeing.

Guy Bauer: Okay, so I'm going to be devil's advocate here. And we did a podcast a few episodes ago where we said it's okay if people hate your video. In fact, that means it succeeded in polarizing your audience.

Hope Morley: So what we were talking about with some people hating your video is when you're showing something to someone outside their target market and they just don't like it, I mean outside the target audience. They just don't like it or they just don't care. And then they move on with their life. Like they're not going on Twitter and badmouthing you because they're actively offended.

Tory Merritt: Correct.

Hope Morley: Being like offended or finding something just scary or stupid or to make fun of it. That's going to be problematic.

Tory Merritt: So like Burger King. The moldy burger, right? I think you like it. I do not. I think it's disgusting.

Guy Bauer: Really?

Tory Merritt: Yeah, ew. Like I don't want to think about that. People are already worried. There was a post the other day. It was like people that had gotten food in their college dorm café. And there's lizards and bugs and we're all very aware of that, so seeing like a nasty burger to me it's just like fast food's already gross. Anyway. But point being, even that, that doesn't make me hate Burger King. I'm not going to go on social media and be like, “you're so stupid.” Like there's a difference between that and something, from my perspective, with this just like you're actually ... You're hitting on empowering women. You're going the opposite of that with the message.

Tory Merritt: That's the difference. If it's not just like, “oh that ad was stupid. Like I didn't get it. I don't like it.” Versus like I feel like you're actively promoting something that we fought so hard and continue to fight for.

Hope Morley: The gender roles are really problematic. Like I was saying earlier of like getting this expensive gift from your spouse. This feeling that he's got some secret bank account that he can pull $3000 out of.

Tory Merritt: But like you can't buy it yourself because you ... He'll do it for you. Making it okay.

Guy Bauer: Now most likely that is the truth though. Right? But just because it is true, that they have data to back it up that it is true that the man does make the purchasing decision to buy a Peloton, yada, yada. Just because that is true doesn't mean that that's what you should say.

Tory Merritt: But you're not seeing ... The difference though is the man ... Does the data say that the man doesn't talk to his wife about it and then just randomly buys it? No, I highly doubt it.

Guy Bauer: But what ended up happening though is it's only a 30 second spot.

Tory Merritt: Correct. Someone cut something to simplify and that's oversimplifying.

Guy Bauer: But it doesn't make the story ... Like meaning, it would ruin the story if it wasn't a surprise, right?

Hope Morley: Right. And because ... Like you were saying, you have 30 seconds. There's only so much than you can put into a 30 second spot.

Guy Bauer: Right, right.

Hope Morley: You don't want to have this whole backstory.

Tory Merritt: Pick a different story would be my response.

Hope Morley: But yeah. If you can't tell the story in 30 seconds, then it's probably not the story that you want to tell in a 30 second spot.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, and I guarantee you no one at Peloton thought this would happen.

Tory Merritt: Or they did and they didn't think it would be as widespread or they were willing to make the gamble because the data that they had showed it didn't matter outside of their target audience. Like I said, their sales, I do believe, went up. Their stock went up after all of this. But maybe that's because the data showed that it would with that target audience, I don't know.

Hope Morley: Or their sales would have gone up regardless.

Tory Merritt: Based on the time of year, yeah. Who knows? Peloton. Send us your data. I'll provide you more of my opinions, which I'm sure you would love to hear.

Guy Bauer: Yeah.

Hope Morley: So to wrap this up, this Peloton ad seemed to be a persona gone wrong. Or possibly over relying-

Tory Merritt: Oversimplifying yeah.

Hope Morley: Oversimplifying.

Tory Merritt: Data gone wrong.

Hope Morley: Overall, I think most of our listeners. Most marketers. We should be using personas. They are a valuable tool. But just as with any tool in your marketing toolkit, over reliance on one tool is probably not going to end well.

Tory Merritt: Data isn't everything.

Hope Morley: All right. Thanks for listening to this week's episode of So You Need A Video. For more information, for links to all the ... To the Peloton video if you haven't seen it. Visit our website at umault.com. That's U-M-A-U-L-T.com. And give us a review on your podcast app, like the YouTube video, leave us a comment. Do we have a question we want to end with?

Guy Bauer: Yeah, your favorite Backstreet Boy?

Tory Merritt: I'm thinking Nick is-

Hope Morley: Brian.

Tory Merritt: Oh really?

Hope Morley: Yeah.

Tory Merritt: I went back and forth.

Guy Bauer: Who's the weird guy with like the-

Tory Merritt: Is it Howie?

Guy Bauer: He had the-

Hope Morley: Howie.

Guy Bauer: He's the tall one with the-

Hope Morley: Howie.

Tory Merritt: I think Howie had-

Guy Bauer: No one likes him, right?

Tory Merritt: No, it's not Howie, it's the other guy.

Hope Morley: AJ.

Tory Merritt: It's AJ.

Guy Bauer: He's the old guy. He's the old one.

Tory Merritt: I think-

Hope Morley: No, Howie was the old one.

Tory Merritt: Oh okay.

Guy Bauer: No, no, Howie's short there.

Tory Merritt: Yeah. He looks more like Lin Manuel-

Guy Bauer: The tall skinny guy. The tall skinny guy. The tallest one with a goatee.

Tory Merritt: That's Nick is the ... Oh goatee.

Hope Morley: AJ.

Guy Bauer: It's AJ.

Tory Merritt: AJ, Howie, Nick, Brian, and-

Guy Bauer: Philip.

Hope Morley: That's the one. That's always in the back. All right on that note.

Guy Bauer: Cool, but leave us a thing in the comments about your favorite Backstreet Boy and we want to know about it.

Tory Merritt: Nick. See you.

Guy Bauer: Steve.





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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