The Peloton Ad: My Take

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Wayne Dyer

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the “controversial” Peloton ad which a bunch of strangers using the soapbox that is Twitter have labeled “sexist.”

In case you haven’t, here it is (for as long as they keep in on YouTube).

I’ve read the opinions and articles on this ad. I’ve watched it a few times for the sake of this blog post. The analysis from the court of public opinion has ranged from a husband who bought the bike for his wife because he is obsessed with keeping her in shape to a husband that is abusive toward her.

Yeesh. The vitriol! I’m absolutely amazed by how many people turned out to be relationship experts and knew their status and history after watching a 30-second spot. In fact, the actor who plays the husband recently spoke out and is now worried about how the backlash from every Tom, Dick and Harry may be damaging his career.

Meanwhile, the actress who played the wife got a gig for Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin as a way to poke back at how the Peloton ad was perceived by the Twitterverse (or if you’ve been blogging for 15 years like me, the blogosphere).

At this point, another opinion about this doesn’t really make much of a difference because the consensus is that she’s more or less in a blink-if-you’re-in-danger relationship and she needs to workout – or else.

But I’m going to give you mine anyway. And because the ad has already been chastised and labeled as wrong, I’m going to look beyond the surface and try to put a positive light on it because hey, what else should I be doing on a Saturday night, right?

First, let’s be honest. At a starting price of over $2,000 (not including membership), this is not a cheap gift. Granted, the ad does depict them as affluent and not necessarily concerned about the cost but maybe, just maybe, she actually wanted the bike, hence her surprise.

It sounds silly, I know. But why would she want it? Perhaps she lives in a town where inclement weather is commonplace – the ad does show it snowing in one scene. Or perhaps she tried spin classes and it turns out she’s not a fan of being in a hot, sweaty, trainer-yelling-in-your-face environment. Honestly, I don’t care much for gyms either because the scenery never changes whether you’re on the stationary bike or treadmill. I’d rather be outside breathing fresh air and logging actual miles riding to the beach and back which is possible year-round where I live.

Then there’s the new GritCycle gym that just opened up in a shopping complex down the street from us. The place is so packed that we can hardly find parking if we just want to go for a tea. I wouldn’t want to deal with that, either.

Another criticism of the ad was that she doesn’t look like she needs to lose weight, hence the theory about hubby making her do the workouts. While I was never a fan of fitness ads depicting thin people trying to be thin, it’s not always about what you see on the surface.

Near the end of the spot, where she documents her progress throughout by shooting video selfies, she looks into the camera and says, “A year ago, I didn’t realize how much this would change me. Thank you.”

As you may have read in my previous posts, over a year ago my wife was diagnosed with kidney cancer and had a nephrectomy on October 2018. The road to recovery after any surgery, let alone one where they removed two organs and the fat pocket surrounding them, is not an easy one and getting back into the swing of things can prove to be difficult.

One of the things all of her –ologists recommended was being less sedentary once her recovery was complete – and that’s exactly what we’ve done. Last August, we paid for the annual parking pass for our local park so that I can aid in her recovery by either walking or cycling with her around the park or neighboring nature center trails.

To see her now, logging up to 5 miles either on foot or riding the saddle, you would never know that I took a week vacation last year to sleep next to her in a lounge chair while she slept on the couch – her stitches prevented her from climbing in and out of bed – to help her get up and sit down whenever she needed it. She’s now cancer-free and getting her doctor-recommended dose of exercise. Because of everything she’s gone through, she’s also the strongest woman I know. Let’s not even talk about her difficult pregnancy.

Although you would never know by her appearance, perhaps Peloton Wife falls into a similar category and her daily workouts are her way of proving to everyone that she’s not only on the road to recovery but getting stronger by the day – even when she begrudgingly wakes up at 6 am to work out (believe me, my wife and I have been there). Recovery takes strength and determination, both of which are shown in the ad.

And there you have it. I just spent a good amount of time analyzing a commercial that in today’s viral-obsessed world nobody will even care about in a week. But my point was that we don’t always know the backstory nor should we pretend to. This was just a way of, based on my personal experience, shedding a different light on what so many saw as a negative depiction of a relationship.

Because if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Blogging 365, Day 38: Nobody Likes Papa’s Snoring During Novelas

So the other day I wrote a post about that damned AT&T U-verse commercial about that girl complaining about her difficulty to hear her novelas over Papa’s snoring.

And it turns out that I’m not the only one annoyed with that commercial. Just check out my recent search hits.

novela

Most of my top hits have come from people searching for more info on the commercial. Glad to know I’m not the only one that’s going batty over it.

As far as the other topics go, here are links in case you are interested.

Blogging 365, Day 35: Novelas and Papa’s Snoring

"Look here, bitch..."

What you are looking at is a screengrab from what could quite possibly be the most poorly written and acted commercial in the history of mankind.

The commercial is for AT&T’s U-Verse TV service which offers the unique feature of being portable through the incorporation of a wireless receiver. In this commercial, a group of Hispanic girls are obviously smitten with the star of their favorite (fictional) novela, Viva el Amor, but are unable to watch the show because of one problem: the father of the girl in green is not only asleep but he’s sawing some serious logs as well.

So, in an attempt to make things better, the only other girl who has a line in the commercials says, “Let’s move him” which I take to mean the star of the novela. Green Girl then goes over to Papa’s Barcalounger to try to move him instead of the TV.

“What are you doing?” asks the other girl.

That’s when the drama unfolds and Green Girl delivers the over-acted line of, “Well…back in my day, this was the only way we could hear the novelas over Papa’s snoring.” This means that as a little girl she had to roll Papa’s ass out of the room so she could watch her novelas in peace since apparently he has a really bad case of narcolepsy.

Duh, beeyotch!

That’s when Mom behind her nods approvingly with one hell of a goofy smile on her face. Note her crazy eyes, too. We also here some other smartass say “Whatever” off-screen.

The other girl then tells Green Girl they’ll be in the patio and demands she bring the popcorn. Then they wheel the TV and wireless receiver — still plugged in, by the way — into the patio to enjoy the show while Papa snores his ass off.

This commercial irks me to no end and I want to throw a brick at my TV each time I see it. As I said, it’s so poorly written and acted that the mere 30 seconds it’s on seems like an eternity. It’s stupid, stereotypical, and downright annoying with as many times as they show it.

It just makes me that much happier to be a Verizon FiOS customer.

This Is Disturbing

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The picture you see above is from a Just For Men commercial in which a baby is depicted with a goatee, but not just any goatee. Since JFM is a product aimed at men who have graying hair (myself included), it’s assumed that the kid not only had a goatee at such an early age but it was also graying.

I know, I know. The point here is that dying your goatee will make you look and feel younger. On a side note, I shaved mine off months ago because it was getting too damned gray and think that now I look at least a few years younger. None of this crazy baby shit for me.

But seriously, who the eff thought this was funny, catchy, or otherwise amusing? If there’s anything that makes me laugh less in a commercial than monkeys doing human things, it’s a baby going adult things and I’m a parent. This ad is fucking stupid in every way: he drives, he dances, he’s the coolest mutherfugger in the club – and all the ladies love him.

Now suppose we switch genders and present a baby girl who dyed her hair and had a bunch of dudes adoring her. Yeah, I think you get the idea. You’d be on the horn with the authorities in a New York minute.

But even if you don’t switch, this commercial still sucks. Plain and simple.

From the Archives, Part Deux

Today’s entry is a multimedia extravaganza!

I got an e-mail last night from reader Jon–yes, I actually have readers–who had left a comment on this entry from 2005 regarding the availability of an MP3 file I had posted.

The file in question was a commercial parody for New York Telephone, a profanity-laden spoof that I had transferred from a 30-year-old cassette tape and converted to an MP3 file for all the world to enjoy. Unfortunately for Jon, the file could not be accessed because the file’s host, PutFile.com, had long since done the way of the dinosaur. Hell, I couldn’t even get Archive.org to retrieve a cached copy of the site. Well, I could have but it took to long to load and it’s just not that interesting to see.

Anyway, he e-mailed me and asked if I still had a copy of it since he was desperate to hear the thing. While replying, I decided to scan my external hard drive for the file and lo and behold, I still had it.

I happily replied to him and attached my find. He then replied to me stating that he scanned his hard drive and came across his version of the parody which is actually better quality and contains some outtakes of voice actors at the beginning.

I kindly asked if I could post it here on the blog and he obliged, provided I didn’t send all the traffic to his host. That’s no problem–SoundCloud will gladly take the hit.

At any rate, here is Jon’s version of the file. Know that the language at the beginning and scattered throughout the commercial is definitely NSFW so listen at your own discretion if you are at work or around virgin ears. One of the voices may sound very familiar to you if you watched ABC in the ’80s and ’90s as you will hear, it’s kind of funny hearing that person working so blue before getting serious about it. Jon did some sleuthing of his own and thinks that the voices at the beginning could be that of Peter Cullen or the late Don Lafontaine.

Either way, give the new version a listen and have a laugh on us.


(Click on the Down arrow to download)

Once I listened to this I got to thinking about other infamous radio/TV bits that have been around since Marconi created radio. One in particular was of a drunken Orson Welles doing Paul Masson commercial:

It’s absolutely hilarious to see the actors try to carry on normally as one of the greatest actors of our time attempts to read his lines while barely being able to keep his eyes open. And it’s not like they could just get up and walk out. Drunk or not, this was Citizen Fucking Kane! My favorite part has to be “Ahhhhhhhh, the French…champagne…” at 0:27. That’s come classic shit right there! Who knew Orson Welles was a fall-down, mad-off-his-ass drunk bastard?

And believe it or not, there’s yet another one starting Welles which is even better, albeit audio only:


(Click on the Down arrow to download)

Poor Orson. He’s trying to make a point that the script just sucks and makes no sense. Just listen–the man was absolutely right, and you can actually hear him walk away from the mic and leave the session in frustration at the end of the clip. So infamous was this one that it made the underground rounds for what seemed like an eternity and became a cult favorite, even inspiring a portion of this SCTV skit (starting at 2:06):

Yeah, I know it’s Christmas and it’s now May. I don’t care–it’s SCTV and that skit is fucking funny as hell no matter what time of year it is.

The thing is that there are literally millions of these clips out there because radio personalities, voice-over actors, etc. are just like the rest of us and will screw up on the job now and then. And when you have to read something over and over, eventually going to get tired of it and slip up or just let loose. Believe me, having a brother that worked in L.A. radio for years, I’ve heard things you would not believe.

It’s just a shame I don’t have any of them in digital format because man, they were some funny shit. But should I ever come across any of them, I will gladly share them here for all the world to enjoy.

Now go. You’re taking up valuable air.

Special thanks to reader Jon for giving me permission to post his file.

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