Flat White

Sex sells – or does it?

13 December 2021

6:33 PM

13 December 2021

6:33 PM

Everyone knows that ‘sex sells’.

Forget woke advertising campaigns full of gender-creative pronouns, complex quota-ticking spreadsheets, and the latest ‘the-world-is-melting’ hashtags attached to anorexic polar bear gifs – it’s rubbish. It doesn’t work. No one cares how virtuous your thirty-second commercial is.

Considering the homogenised landscape of awful TV on offer, it was only natural that the American exercise equipment company Peloton jumped at the chance to cast their product as a main character in the Sex and the City reboot.

It was easy money.

Are you going to put a twig-armed Vegan on a piece of premium exercise equipment? No. A blue-haired angry socialist with three pounds of metal piercings dangling near the machinery’s moving parts? Not unless you’re planning on filming the Emergency Room follow-up.

To sell more exercise bikes, Peloton wanted a real man, famous for being hot, sitting on their bike with a light sheen of sweat for decoration – not too much – or people will think exercise is hard work and swipe over to Menulog.

The whole pitch was a massive success, with Peloton trending for hours on every social media platform after the episode aired. Literally everyone was talking about their infamous exercise bikes.

No – hold on. ‘Infamy’ isn’t quite as profitable as fame.

Peloton made the only mistake possible with the reliable ‘sex sells’ formula; they used their product to kill a beloved sex symbol.

The strenuous 45 minute workout from the Peloton exercise bike caused Chris ‘Mr. Big’ Noth to collapse from a heart attack. Love affair partner Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) then cradled him in her arms as he expired in an overdone Shakespearean-style tragedy. There were tears swiftly followed by fan outrage…

This is also known as a catastrophic failure in judgement by the company – who had not bothered to check the script before offering their exercise bike up for literary slaughter.

After Peloton knocked off Chris ‘Mr. Big’ Noth, their company share price dived 11 per cent. A spokesperson from Peloton quickly released a statement insisting that Mr. Big’s ‘extravagant lifestyle’ was to blame for his demise, not their unfairly persecuted exercise bike.

Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle – including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks – and was at serious risk,’ said Dr. Steinbaum, who acts as a cardiologist on Peloton’s health and wellness advisory council.

Defending a fictional death brought upon by the company’s product must have been a weird day for the team over at Peloton. It makes you wonder if the cigar and alcohol companies previously featured as product placements got a little nervous after that swift footwork from Peloton.

This PR disaster is how we arrive at today’s hilarious advertising campaign put out by Peloton, which shows Mr. Big magically resurrected in a Christmas-themed setting complete with a new girlfriend. There are two exercise bikes sitting behind him – presumably a subtle hint that you should think of buying a couple to work off those Covid kilos – and a message insisting that ‘Mr. Big is still alive’.

‘To new beginnings,’ says Mr. Big, with the heavy-handed use of Moonlight Sonata playing in the background.

‘You look great!’ insists this brand new girlfriend, which Peloton has found him.

‘I feel great. Shall we take another ride? Life’s too short not to.’

The disclaimer quickly ends with ‘he’s alive!’ just in case any Sex and the City fans were still hyperventilating in the background.

You see? Not only did Peloton not kill Mr. Big – the company fulfilled the male dream of re-spawning into a fantasy. Because of the exercise bike. HBO might be a network famous for nudity, sex, and violence – but Peloton just pulled off a Christmas miracle.

#AndJustLikeThat – to quote the hashtag that started all the trouble – Peloton turned a disaster into dollars.

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