On its surface, the commercial seems innocuous enough: A man gives his wife a Peloton bike for Christmas, which she adores and uses religiously.
The commercial, which was posted to Peloton’s official YouTube channel on Nov. 21, portrays a man gifting his wife a stationary bicycle for Christmas. She then takes cellphone videos of her rides — from her first, to her fifth, to her 50th; at 6 a.m., after work, when it’s snowing outside. At one point, the instructor on the screen can be heard saying, “Let’s go, Grace in Boston,” to which the woman exclaims, “She just said my name!”
In a somewhat surprising twist, however, it turns out that the couple have been watching a home movie of all the clips she has taken — a full year later.
“A year ago, I didn’t realize how much this would change me. Thank you,” the woman says in the ad, which is titled, “The Gift that Gives Back.”
However, many people took issue with the ad for the bike, which starts at $2,245 — before the $39/month membership fee to stream the service’s virtual classes. (The online outrage also drove down Peloton shares as much as 10 percent, and prompted calls for the company to pull the commercial, according to Bloomberg News.)
The only way to enjoy that Peloton ad is to think of it as the first minute of an episode of Black Mirror— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) December 2, 2019
[peloton ad meeting]— Douglas A. Boneparth (@dougboneparth) December 2, 2019
Ad Exec: A weight loss journey.
CMO: Go on...
Ad Exec: But instead of featuring actual customers who’ve transformed their lives, we hire a model already in amazing shape?
CMO: Make it happen.
[twelve hours later] pic.twitter.com/Cx56YNRrRb
I hope the Peloton wife leaves her husband and takes their daughter and falls in love with the Mandalorian and they raise the daughter and Baby Yoda together as one happy family. That’s what I hope.— The War on Christmark (@markhoppus) December 3, 2019
My fave commercial right now is that one where a guy buys his already perfectly fit wife a Peloton for Christmas and she gets revenge by making him watch a compilation video of her using it for a year— Adam Tod Brown (@adamtodbrown) November 30, 2019
No offense to the Peloton lady but if your Christmas gift to me is just a video of you using the Christmas gift I got you last year then you’re not getting another Christmas present from me again— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 3, 2019
Sorry to shake things up but I'm excited to announce I'm throwing my hat in the ring and joining the presidential race and running on the single issue platform to jail everyone involved in the pitching, scripting, acting, shooting, and approval of the Peloton ad.— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) December 2, 2019
Correct me if I'm wrong, but a Peloton is basically just an exercise bike for people with too much money?— JaysonTatUmaThurMannieFresh (@SnottieDrippen) December 2, 2019
I want the Peloton ad where someone piles clothes on it for a year and takes pictures of the pile’s growth and feels just fine about it— BUM CHILLUPS (@edsbs) December 2, 2019
hear me out: a portable peloton that will move as you pedal it— angel (@angelmendozaAZC) December 3, 2019