Peloton is taking a lot of flak for its new holiday commercial that depicts absolutely nothing about the cycling company yet absolutely everything at the same time.
The commercial begins on a fictional Christmas morning with a mother and her daughter coming down the stairs hiding their eyes, waiting for the big reveal of the present that the fictional husband/father figure is hiding.
The daughter, who is holding in her hand what could easily pass as a stuffed animal version of Slenderman is all but thrown to the side when the mother opens her eyes and exclaims (in excruciatingly painful over-exaggeration) “A Peloton?!”
Watch the entire Peloton holiday ad below:
We are left unable to distinguish whether our Peloton Mom (as we will call her from here on out) is truly excited, quite literally just asking a question or in complete disbelief that her husband is trying to subtly infer that she needs to start hitting the gym by purchasing her an at-home stationary bike, seemingly against her knowledge and most likely against her will.
Based on the way her voice cuts off in the clip combined with the terror in her tone that ensues as the commercial progresses, we’re going to assume it’s option number three.
The somewhat inspirational 1998 banger that you probably haven’t heard in a solid eight years, “She’s So High” by Tal Bachman, begins to pick up in the distance as Peloton Mom begins selfie-vlogging her journey with her new bike that will cost her $39 a month in class streaming fees but that’s neither here nor there for our leading lady at the moment.
She admits that she’s ‘a little nervous’ as she begins her first ride with a look of sheer horror and forced delight that’s somewhat reminiscent of the look you would expect from someone being held captive, not exactly on a $2,000+ stationary bike set in front of floor to ceiling windows and a perfectly snowy ground.
Our Peloton Mom lets us know that ‘five days have passed’ since her first ride and suddenly it’s spring?
“Are you surprised?” she asks.
Why yes, we are, seeing as it was the dead of winter five short days ago. Nevertheless, we continue along with her on this journey of seasonal changes and inevitable self-discovery.
The ad continues showing Peloton Mom begrudgingly waking up at 6 a.m. (in a full face of makeup, naturally) to hit the bike and quickly jumps to a clip of her furiously pedaling with confidence on her bike.
Tal Bachman is still singing loudly in the background, at the request of absolutely no one in the commercial nor those suffering through watching the horror show that is this advertisement.
The commercial cuts to the end which is where things start to emit some serious “Black Mirror” vibes — things are dark.
Peloton Mom’s vlog is now playing on the TV in her living room where she sits with her husband and/or captor as the video cuts to a scene of her looking right at the camera as she says:
“A year ago, I didn’t realize how much this would change me. Thank you.”
Why is she watching a vlog of her own fitness journey on her own TV alongside the man who forced her into riding — sorry, lovingly bought — the Peloton bike?
If you disassociate for a second, it’s hard to forget you’re not watching a live-action version of the next installment of ‘The Purge.’
Who is Peloton Mom thanking, anyway? Her husband who was trying to subtly send her a message by buying her a workout bike for Christmas? Herself? Her daughter who is now apparently no longer part of the family? Slenderman? Who knows!
The only thing that we can see that has changed is Peloton Mom’s dedication to more fitted and flattering workout gear — Peloton Mom has come a long way since her baggy tee in ride number one. Get your life, sis.
The commercial ends with Mom gazing wide-eyed at her husband and/or captor as if to ask if she can safely leave and return to the real world but alas, this is her world now. This is Peloton.
Naturally Twitter has been having a field day with the content that’s come out of this short yet jam-packed 30-second ad:
Amongst the million and one things — for lack of a better word — concerning with this commercial, viewers and potential customers are left without any knowledge about what Peloton is or does, other than that it’s a stationary bike that has potential to make people nervous.
This isn’t the first time Peloton has been scrutinized for its questionable ad practices.
Just earlier this year, a Twitter thread went viral pointing out the ridiculousness of the placement of the Peloton bike amongst affluent and inconvenient settings in the company’s photo advertisements.
The fitness brand also faced a $150 million lawsuit in March for using songs by Drake and Lady Gaga in advertisements without the artists’ consent.
Peloton Mom — if you’re reading this, if you’re out there, blink twice and we’ll come help.
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