America furious over fitness bike ad
America has ripped into a creepy 30-second commercial for a $3800 stationary fitness bike called the Peloton.
In the advertisement, a husband surprises his wife with the exercise equipment, followed by an montage of the woman training on the bike for a year.
Meanwhile, Tal Buchman's hit She's So High rings in the background while she trains.
"I didn't realise how much this would change me," are the wife's closing comments, as she smiles at her husband.
Reaction to the ad has been overwhelmingly negative - the commercial has become meme fodder, and despite being released in November, a variety of parodies are going viral.
We all need to treasure the things that bring us together as a nation, as a people. Collectively hating on this Peloton ad is that thing. pic.twitter.com/UQtUU4CCQt— Renee Klahr (@reneeklahr) December 2, 2019
One of the most prominent criticisms for the commercial was regarding the husband's choice of Christmas gift. It's blatantly clear why no husband should ever purchase exercise equipment for their significant other, especially during the holidays.
Comedian Eva Victor created a parody detailing exactly why that's the case.
when my husband gets me a Peleton for Christmas ........ pic.twitter.com/Z2d3ewMhPu— Eva Victor (@evaandheriud) December 2, 2019
I’m gonna marry the peloton wife and let her do whatever she wants and bake her garlic bread every night and give her scarves for Christmas— Sophia Benoit Blanc (@1followernodad) December 2, 2019
My wife bought me a Peloton. Don’t worry, I already called the divorce attorney.— john stoll (@johndstoll) December 4, 2019
I’m considering getting my wife a peloton because nothing says I think you need to lose weight like a peloton, and also I want to be stabbed in my sleep— Andrew Kloster (@ARKloster) December 3, 2019
Another notable condemnation was the depiction of "Peloton wife" in the commercial as extremely thin before she started the training. Unrealistic body images has been a widely criticised aspect of contemporary advertising, and the actress depicted is already "rail thin" before receiving the gift.
the lady in the peloton ad is already toned and fit in the "before" part, making it very hard to believe she would be nervous about a basic spin class. (tho that's probably the least weird thing about the ad)— Erin Griffith (@eringriffith) December 2, 2019
Nothing says “maybe you should lose a few pounds” like gifting your already rail thin life partner a Peloton pic.twitter.com/E2M9gFdD5A— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) December 2, 2019
However, The Female Quotient CEO Shelley Zalis argued the backlash is unwarranted.
"There was no language that said it's because she needs to lose weight or diet. There's a hypersensitivity around that," Zalis said during an interview with NBC.
"Not all men are jerks."
Hmmm. The criticism of the Peloton advert is, in itself, making a somewhat sexist assumption that the only reason a woman would exercise is to lose weight. https://t.co/PhYhzi22qa— Michael Hutchinson (@Doctor_Hutch) December 4, 2019
The "Peloton wife" also has an obsession with filming every step of her exercise regime, spurring some viewers to compare the advertisement to popular Netflix series Black Mirror, a show popular for predicting dystopian realities in the near-future.
I am one of those weirdos who got a Peloton for Christmas (long story) from my husband and I love it.— joanna schroeder (@iproposethis) December 2, 2019
I HATE THIS AD SO MUCH IT HURTS.
Just wanted to make that clear. I'm exactly the target demo & I agree w/you all that this is the beginning of a Black Mirror episode. https://t.co/EvFhjRIzu7
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
The social media outrage came to a head on Tuesday, and Peloton stock dropped nine per cent in the following 24 hours.
Despite rumours the ad will be taken down, Peloton does not believe that any stock movement was directly related to the Christmas advertisement.
Comments have been disabled from the advertisement's YouTube video since the backlash.