Ryan Reynolds creates a brilliant video following the awful Peloton ad

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Ryan Reynolds creates a brilliant video following the awful Peloton ad

The Background

RYAN REYNOLDS IS MAKING YOU LOOK A BIT SHIT.  

Well, he’s making us all look a bit shit really. Hold my gin, and I’ll tell you why. 

Mr Reynolds owns Aviator Gin, and he’s proving himself both the client and creative director we all wish we had.  

So, a bit of background.  

In case you live in a cave, Peloton’s chain came off a bit last week. Having cornered the overpriced-live-home-spin-class market, the American fitness upstarts/behemoths released an ad in which it managed to wipe (a reported) $1,500,000,000 off its stock market value.  

To do this, it released a Christmas ad called “The Gift That Gives Back”, where a chap surprises his wife with an exercise bike for Christmas.  

Classy move, lucky girl right? Wrong. It was patronising, cheesy, and well, nauseating.

Cue Twitter meltdown. Someone described it as “a parody of an Influencer’s hostage video.”

The Washington Post called it a “dystopian fitness inspo hellscape.”

And that is actually pretty accurate. The poor lady looks on the verge of tears throughout.  

Anyway, Mr Reynold’s Aviator Gin took the initiative by the handlebars, and came to Peloton Woman’s rescue (I’ll stop with the cycling puns now).

What They Did

Reynolds and co-performed a masterclass in earned media and the power of proactive thinking.

They hired Monica Ruiz, the same actress used by Peloton, wrote an unofficial sequel, captured the mood perfectly, all within a few days.  

The Peloton actress has taken her panned story line – and luxury bike trauma – to a new ad for a different company. Genius and opportunistic. Serves her husband and Peloton right, really.  

They took this nonsense from Peloton...

And responded with this gem, “The Gift That Doesn’t Give Back”...




The Review

It’s simple, sharp and funny. 

There’s nothing overly elaborate about it, a single scene with a pack shot.

The craft and brilliance is in the direction and the co-stars’ quips.  

The real glory in this is the speed they got it written, shot and released. It’s currently close to a millions views on YouTube after just 16 hours. 

CNN, The Guardian, The Times and Bloomberg are all covering it. Its media spend is seemingly zero. The production budget probably modest.  

And the results, the ROI, already, I’m sure, are impressive.  

Its one downside is that it only really makes sense if you’ve seen the Peloton ad, and I have, so I’ll give it four stars on that basis.  

But it comes hot on the heels of Reynold’s recent genius Netflix spot, everything he’s done on Aviator Gin so far (worth a YouTube odyssey) and the multiple clever campaigns he fronted for Deadpool.

He may well be the one of best creative directors this industry currently has.

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James Cross

James Cross

  • Creative director
  • BBC Creative

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