Exercise bike and treadmill maker Peloton Interactive Inc’s latest Christmas advertisement has been widely criticized on social media as being “sexist” and “dystopian”.
The advertisement, called “The Gift That Gives Back”, shows a woman receiving a Peloton bike as a gift from her husband following which she records her workouts over a year and shares them with him through a video blog.
The company spokeswoman said on Wednesday it was disappointed how some people had misinterpreted the commercial, which also had other positive feedback on a campaign that was meant to celebrate fitness.
The 30-second ad sparked a storm on Twitter, with several users pegging it as sexist. Some said the husband was “controlling” and “manipulative” as buying his wife an exercise bike suggested that the she needed to lose weight.
I watched that controversial Peleton ad 5 times trying to see why it bothers everyone and I honestly can't!— Mark B. Spiegel (@markbspiegel) December 4, 2019
The wife needed to drop 5 pounds to keep her husband, and as a beautiful Christmas present he helps her do it…
WHAT THE HELL IS THE PROBLEM???
Comedian and writer Jess Dweck compared the advertisement, which has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube, with an episode of Netflix’s dystopian anthology series “Black Mirror”.
“This was just a clueless mistake that social media is going to rip you apart over,” said Eric Schiffer, chief executive officer of Patriarch Organization, a Los Angeles-based private-equity firm.
“I don’t think it’s going to create an avalanche of negative implications to revenues.”
What kind of brain dead half-wit would think that giving your wife a peleton exercise bike would elicit anywhere near the positive response of that commercial. This company will have deaths on their hands— Mike Bischoff (@MikeBischoff3) December 3, 2019
Refinitiv’s Eikon Social Media Monitor showed sentiment toward Peloton turned negative on Tuesday, having been firmly positive in the past couple of months.
Founded in 2012, Peloton sells indoor exercise bicycles and offers packages requiring memberships to access live and on-demand classes from home. Its flagship product is a stationary bike priced at over $2,200.
Instead of getting your wife a Peleton for Christmas, save yourself $2,500 dollars and just tell her you think she’s getting fat.— Lord Single Malt (@Singlemaltfiend) December 2, 2019
The company’s stock has risen 16% since its initial public offering in September as investors bet on the growing popularity of its bicycles that offer on-demand workout programs.