In Defense Of That Peloton Bike Ad: Nothing’s Wrong With High-End Fitness

In Defense Of That Peloton Bike Ad: Nothing’s Wrong With High-End Fitness

A seemingly innocent holiday commercial turned into a nightmare scenario for the luxury fitness company Peloton, with a recent ad triggering a sea of backlash and embarrassing taunts.

The outrage was so extreme, Peloton saw its stock drop 9 percent in a single day, erasing $942 million from its market value. Ouch. But was the ad really that bad? Not at all.

“The commercial follows a woman’s yearlong fitness journey after her husband gifts her one of the company’s expensive stationary bikes, ending with the woman thanking her husband for changing her life,” describes People.

“Twitter users were quick to mock the ad, calling out its supposed message of a husband wanting his seemingly already fit wife to lose weight and her being ‘nervous’ about riding an indoor bike.”

The only cringey thing about the ad is that it portrays a woman video blogging her Peloton journey—truly, an awkward experience to watch. But the idea that it’s offensive for a husband to gift his very-in-shape wife a fancy fitness bike is like saying it’s offensive to give a mom who loves cooking a Kitchen-Aid. In all likelihood, she’d be excited.

Not everyone enjoys working out, and most husbands are hopefully smart enough not to buy their wives a Peloton bike for a holiday present if they hate stationary bikes. But the woman in the controversial Peloton commercial was clearly not upset—while, yes, a bit nervous.

That’s because many women love a good sweat, to the point we’re borderline obsessed. Fitness has become a nearly $100 billion global industry, with Lululemon and boutique studios occupying every other block in major U.S. cities.

On its face, $2,245 sounds like a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a stationary bike. But compare that to the price of a single SoulCycle class, which costs $34 plus a pesky $3 shoe rental. After about 60 classes, you could own the Peloton bike. Not to mention, Peloton promotes financing options starting at $58 per month, which is far cheaper than SoulCycle, Orange Theory, and the likes. It’s also cheaper than a YMCA family membership, which is a solidly middle-class lifestyle accessory.

Naysayers also mocked the fancy backdrops and expensive atmosphere in the Peloton ad, claiming it makes the company appear smug and out-of-touch.

But Peloton isn’t out of touch—in fact, just the opposite. The company knows who can afford a $2,245 stationary bike, and is speaking straight to them. With the average household income around $60,000 per year, the images won’t relate to everyone. In a free market, that makes perfect sense. Only a socialist would find cause for offense about the fact that some people can afford luxury goods.

Instead of criticizing the luxury fitness company for advertising to its obvious clientele, make fun of Peloton for creating an ad that portrays a woman vlogging her fitness journey. That’s what’s unrelatable, and painful to watch.

Kelsey Bolar is a contributor to The Federalist and a senior policy analyst at Independent Women's Forum. She is also the Thursday editor of BRIGHT, a weekly newsletter for women, and the 2017 Tony Blankley Chair at The Steamboat Institute. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, daughter, and Australian Shepherd, Utah.
Photo Twitter / screenshot
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