Exercise bike firm Peloton is facing a fierce backlash over a Christmas advert that has been widely mocked as “sexist” and “dystopian”.
The 30-second campaign shows a woman receiving a Peloton bike – which costs roughly £2,000 – from her husband.
She then films herself exercising over the year and presents the video to her spouse as a way of saying thank you.
“A year ago, I didn’t realise how much this would change me,” she says.
The caption urges viewers to “give your loved ones the opportunity to discover their strength, whenever they want it, all year long”.
Shares in the high-end fitness firm dropped more than nine per cent last night as investors baulked at the cringe-worthy campaign.
Peloton released on 21 November, but criticism reached a head on social media yesterday, with many branding it “sexist” and comparing it to a horror film.
“The only way to enjoy that Peloton ad is to think of it as the first minute of an episode of Black Mirror,” said TV writer Jess Dweck.
Critics also accused the company of peddling negative body image, while others mocked the fact that the wife appeared not to have lost any weight over the year.
Some women also weighed in on the debate by saying they’d be furious if their husband bought them an exercise bike for Christmas.
“Almost as dystopian is the fact that some people are paying more than £2,000 for a stationary bike with a tablet bolted to the handlebars,” another Twitter user wrote.
Christophe Castagnera, head of connected experiences EMEA, at Imagination said: “In an era of fake news and post truth do we really need an ad that is so vapid?
“There is enough beauty and creativity in the world to bring something authentic, humorous or inspiring to the table when it comes to marketing communications, brought to life through real live experiences.”
Peloton has not commented on the reaction to its ad, but the firm has disabled comments on the Youtube video.
It’s not the first time Peloton has come under fire for its cringe-inducing adverts though, as a January campaign was ridiculed for its highly-stylised nature.
Main image credit: Youtube/Peloton