If you hate opinion articles or don’t care about my opinion, please stop reading now. I might make you mad and I don’t want that. 😊
Anyhow, unless you’ve had your head stuck in the sand or you don’t watch TV, this ad is generating a lot of buzz right now.
Critics of this ad claims it relies on marital stereotypes and depicts spousal abuse to sell a bike. Some have called it creepy, disturbing, and cringeworthy and some are implying this ad is sexist and classist.
And this backlash has caused Pelton to lose almost $1.5 billion dollars. That’s some serious coin.
A Peloton Company representative responded by saying.
“We constantly hear from our members how their lives have been meaningfully and positively impacted after purchasing or being gifted a Peloton Bike or Tread, often in ways that surprise them,”.
Our holiday spot was created to celebrate that fitness and wellness journey. While we’re disappointed in how some have misinterpreted this commercial, we are encouraged by — and grateful for — the outpouring of support we’ve received from those who understand what we were trying to communicate.” (1)
As far as I know, the ad is still on TV.
Here’s my two cents worth
Firstly, being a man, my point of view is different from that of the fairer sex. And this is more of an apology, disclosure and a fact. 😊
There are all sorts of ads in the print and visual media that reinforce stereotypes. Because this is one-way companies sell stuff. They target a certain audience and then drive it all the way home. Although I don’t condone it, it’s a reality.
Many ads on TV depict men as being submissive, macho, stupid or lacking critical thinking skills. Like this one.
Again, I’m not saying it’s right, it’s just reality. And the best thing you can do is not fall for their bullshit and buy their products. Because hurting their bottom-line will get their attention.
And I imagine Peloton is hurting, no matter what their PR firm says.
And I agree with (some of) the criticism
When I look at this ad through a different lens, I agree with some of these accusations. Peloton should’ve been smart enough to have seen this coming and toned it down or gone in a different direction.
However, I wonder if the woman bought the bike for the man, would’ve it created as much controversy?
Furthermore, people can debate and express their opinions however they please. It’s the beauty of a democracy because in some countries, people get killed for less.
So please get on your keyboard and express outrage. It’s your right.
But here’s what most people are missing
Let’s put aside all the stereotypes and criticisms aside for a moment and look at this from a health perspective. Her husband (on one hand) is buying his wife the gift of health and fitness.
And it doesn’t matter what sex buys the bike, what weight the person is, how ‘in-shape’ the person is or how lame the ad is. The person who uses this bike, (if they can afford it) if dedicated and consistent enough, will see improvements in their health markers like resting heart rate, cholesterol and may lower their body fat.
If they make exercise a part of their daily life, they will like what they see. And who’s to say one shouldn’t look good for their spouse, for whatever reason.
Certainty not me. Or you.
Although exercise will help you look good, this shouldn’t be your only reason to ride a spin bike in your living room with someone yelling out you while you’re paying out the rear end for the privilege.
Maybe in their next ad, Peloton should concentrate on the health aspects of cardiovascular exercise? It probably wouldn’t generate much controversy or sell many bikes, but it would be the truth.
Congratulations, you’ve made it all the way to the end and hopefully we’re still friends. And if you’re mad at me, that’s okay. Let me know in the comments below.
Please remember to give the gift of fitness not only to your loved ones but to yourself also.