Instead of reacting with anger he responds with hilarity to promote his brand of gin.
There are a number of ways you can react to a touchstone arrival in the public consciousness. While we are watching a naturally viral event taking place revolving around a piece of workout equipment there is a bit of a sour mentality exposed by the reaction. One respite from the bile is seeing another company capitalizing on the event in its own fashion, and affable actor Ryan Reynolds is behind it.
If you have watched any holiday television, or if you made the mistake of wading into social media, there is a likelihood you have been exposed to the now infamous Peloton Stationary Bike commercial. It has become a social hot button topic, for some reason, and as Brandon Morse has commented, few are able to actually articulate why they are reacting with venom to the ad.
I had my own negative take on the commercial, but I would stop well short of stating I reacted with anger. Unlike those on social media who feel outrage is a compulsory reaction to innocuous events in our culture, I was not bothered by the ad. But as we discussed on this week’s episode of The Culture Shift, I felt the commercial was a bit of a misfire from a marketing perspective. I was not personally impacted by the spot but saw many issues which seemed negative to the commercial push. (If you have not caught the commercial, here is the link.)
The first issue is a husband giving the stationary bike as a present. This is a minefield issue, on par with giving your spouse a vacuum cleaner, or a washer and dryer. Even as the commercial tries to show she is excited about it, immediately after she is intimidated and anxious about its presence. The second part is the woman in the commercial appears to weigh barely 100 pounds. She looks like she could use not a workout regimen but a double-meat sub sandwich with extra mayonnaise. At the end of the commercial, she talks about how her Peloton has transformed her life after one year — while looking exactly the same as she did on the previous Christmas Day.
My biggest issue is the woman who is the centerpiece of the commercial is wholly self-consumed. She rarely uses 2 hands on her Peloton because she is obsessed with recording herself incessantly. You think people taking pictures of their food is boring? “Hey look, there’s you on the same bike — that you’ve been on for 6 months already…” The wife even records her deep thoughts of not wanting to get out of bed as she awakens. (Mornings, amirite?!?!) This is a woman who slaps her alarm off and her very next move is to grab her phone and hit RECORD.In the wake of this fiasco, Ryan Reynolds joined the swelling flood of people who have recorded their own parody version of the commercial but has done so in sly fashion. To promote his brand, Aviation Gin, Reynolds has released the following spot, reinterpreting the travails of the wife and having his gin serve as a needed tonic to her anxiety.
At Deadline they actually found the actress and reached out to her to get a polite, boilerplate response to the hysteria surrounding both her workout commercial as well as the follow-up effort for Aviation.
The internet community has been very worried about the actress in that Peloton commercial, the one where the gift of a stationary bicycle seems to increase the anxiety levels in the eyes of a woman seeking to please her controlling husband. Never fear. She now has Deadpool on her side. Actor Ryan Reynolds, who plays the superhero, has enlisted the desperate housewife from Peloton in a new commercial for his Aviation Gin brand.
The masterstroke here is that Reynolds and his advertising team did not only reference the commercial and the character but he landed the very same actress to portray her embattled wife. Now his commercial is not merely co-opting the social interest in the commercial but serving up something that might be deemed a sequel, of sorts.
For the record, should anyone be confused, my Christmas present preference would be for the gin. I’ll stick with my own non-stationary mountain bike. It is far more enjoyable and does not require a monthly service fee to watch someone on an iPad yelling at me about how to pedal a bicycle correctly.