The guy in the Peloton commercial gave his girlfriend a Peloton for Christmas

People have been talking about the terrible Peloton commercial that went viral because of how awful it was. A husband gifted his wife a $2,000 exercise bike for Christmas, and then she spent the next year recording videos of her workouts for him. People were also upset because they wondered what the husband’s motives were for getting his slender wife the bike in the first place. Slender doesn’t automatically equal fit and healthy, of course, just as the reverse doesn’t automatically indicate that someone unfit and unhealthy, but people read the character that way, which added one more layer to the whole mess.

The actress who played the wife, Monica Ruiz, was recruited for a commercial for Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin that the company put together to capitalize on the Peloton backlash. The commercial takes place in the same universe as the Peloton commercial: The wife has left her husband. She sits with two friends at a bar where they toast to “new beginnings,” and one of her friends tells her that she’s “safe.” Meanwhile, Sean Hunter, the actor who played the husband in the commercial (whose Instagram handle is “pelotonhusband”) has spoken out about the problematic commercial and having to deal with people conflating him with the man he played. But, he seems to be doing OK, now. He recently shared a picture of himself, his girlfriend, and a gift he got her for Christmas, which was, what else? a Peloton bike. That post is above.

Hunter also seems to have changed his tune on the response to the ad, telling People: “I’ve been sent a few negative messages on Instagram, but the majority has been positive.” He also said that while Monica has been quieter about the ad, he’s happy to share his story and thinks “it’s important to discuss these issues and address the reasons why people feel this way.“ For her part, Ruiz seems to have blamed herself. She told Hoda on Today, “It was my fault! My eyebrows looked worried”, and added that she’s “fine.”

I was annoyed by Peloton’s commercial last year, so I was not surprised when this one came out. I can understand Hunter’s initial annoyance if people were, in fact, being jerks to him, because a job is a job. He just wasn’t planning on the tone of the exposure, and being treated as his character. But, he whined about it, further blurring the lines between reality and fiction. Then he realized he needed to not keep biting the hand that was feeding him, and backtracked and said what he initially should have, which is that the issues that people were raising were important and worthy of discussion. All I can say is that I hope his girlfriend asked for the bike. Also, did Peloton give it to him for free?

Screencap from Peloton Ad

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39 Responses to “The guy in the Peloton commercial gave his girlfriend a Peloton for Christmas”

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  1. Puglove says:

    Yes, peloton gave him the bike for free. It’s more advertising and PR for them.

  2. Tai says:

    That was my first thought, he got it for free. In which case, then gifting it to her is a cop out. He should have to suffer the stores and spend money like the rest of us!

    • Em says:

      Oh I’m sure he gave her a real gift. No way she wasn’t in on the PR stunt.

    • Ally says:

      Also, I just saw the revised version of the Peloton ad on YouTube, with different actors and a more classic ad structure, and it’s the exact same idea: give your lady the gift of a $5000 exercise bike — so this is no doubt the astroturf part of it.

  3. Abby says:

    I asked for workout clothes and a new exercise mat for Christmas. I started working out on my own regularly this fall, so it was things I wanted. My husband is a lifelong athlete and enjoyed working out. If we had the money for a peloton bike I would be thrilled!!

    • manda says:

      but you asked for that stuff and that’s the difference! Do you think you would have been psyched for those things last year (before you started really working out)? I know before I started working out that I would have taken offense if someone got me surprise workout gear.

      I too would be psyched to afford a peloton, but would still rather use the money on something more fun. I can’t imagine biking everyday, I like to change things up. Also, I think spinning is the worst!

      • Abby (different Abby!) says:

        Me personally, I still would have been excited. The main reason I waited so long to start exercising was because the program I joined felt out of the budget. Not because I didn’t want to do it!

    • Laura says:

      My husband got me a set of Powerblock dumbbells for our anniversary last year, and I’m still thrilled with them. They have changed my life. That being said, my husband has known me for a long time, knows I’m into fitness and working out, and knew I wanted to amp up my strength training.

  4. Joanna says:

    His girlfriend is very pretty. Peloton is trying to sell a lifestyle. You’re a go getter city dweller who isn’t like everyone else, you have a Peloton. The commercial didn’t bother me. I actually kinda thought they sounded neat. But I didn’t use my at home treadmill so I doubt I’d use an at home bike. My problem is motivation

    • Ali says:

      The Peloton instructors are excellent as motivators and they have classes for floor exercises too. There is a variety of different length legs or arms or abs classes. Yoga and meditation, too, but I haven’t tried those yet.

      I have a basic treadmill and a Peloton and the Peloton is like having a gym and instructors inside your house. If you can find the motivation to turn it on, it’ll make sure you use it.

  5. ItReallyIsYou,NotMe says:

    I am sure the bike was free. If peloton is really smart, she will record herself exercising on the bike for the next year and she should come out with an ad @ Christmas next year talking about her journey.

  6. Jumpingthesnark says:

    I think you are right. And, If she didn’t want a request the bike, then hopefully the “journey” she records is the path out of this relationship. Imagine the gall of gifting someone a freebie they don’t want along with an expectation that they will record their workouts and their “journey” for the next year.

  7. Stef says:

    People took this commercial so personal. I didn’t have issues with it. My mom and aunt always wanted a stationary bike or treadmill so if I gave them something like this they would be happy.

    • Amy says:

      Stef I 100% agree!

      Also a note on the price of the bike being for the ultra wealthy or super expensive.
      My spin classes are 200 a month which is 2400 a year. The bike is a big cost initially but saves a bit in the long run. I am considering it for when I am on mat leave and less motivated/able to attend in-studio classes.

      • T.Fanty says:

        I have a peloton and after the expense of the bike, it’s $38 a month, and is much cheaper (and more convenient) than my gym. As someone noted earlier, peloton also sells a lifestyle and an online community. I’m in several FB groups that are designed to self-motivate, and some people post photos of their every ride. This ad was only a big deal to people who don’t want/like peloton.

      • megs283 says:

        Well, with all due respect, $200/month for spin classes is super expensive to me! I have no bitterness that you can afford it (more power to you!), but to many people, that is out of reach and it’s silly to pretend otherwise.

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t think people were personally offended. I think they rightly mocked an ad that was poorly conceived and executed.

      • Tiffany says:

        This right here. It was the execution. If the wife came downstairs and said, ‘This is just what I wanted’, the tone would have been different. Or even saying it at the end of the year on the video. His silence throughout the whole video was also a little uncomfortable.

    • Cindy says:

      I totally agree. I do have problems with the ad and I thought it was terrible, but I just won’t buy a Peloton and move on.

    • Ally says:

      By the way, you can get one off the street from everyone who throws theirs out. Just saw two out on the curb this week.

  8. Becks1 says:

    Um, So remember all my talk about spin bikes and exercise bikes? Well my husband got me a echelon for Christmas (same idea as a peloton). He said he ordered it and the next day the peloton commercial came out and he was so nervous about my reaction lol. But, I freaking love it. (I already had a basic exercise bike that I used a lot). The echelon has more bike models and can be cheaper than the peloton depending on what model you get.

    Anyway, this guy totally got the peloton for free.

    • manda says:

      I DO remember your talk on exercise bikes and I’m happy you’re psyched about your gift!!! Merry christmas!

  9. girl_ninja says:

    They’re such a good looking couple.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      I was just thinking they are the most basic vanilla looking couple I’ve ever seen (outside of a crappy Hallmark movie).

      Is that mean? Probably mean and judgy. Don’t mind me – grumpy day

  10. L84Tea says:

    I still have mixed feelings about the whole thing to begin with. I personally would be stoked if my husband bought me a Peloton because I am currently trying to make working out a permanent, everyday thing rather than just something I do when I want to shed a few pounds, and I am trying to challenge myself. I know many people who run races, marathons, do those Ironman challenges, do crossfit, and view exercise as a challenge to be conquered, very often together with their spouse or partner. I think that’s why a lot of people didn’t get the initial commercial to begin with. Giving your wife a peloton doesn’t automatically equal here, use this because your butt is getting huge. Many couples thrive on working out both together and individually and actually find it fun. Just my take.

    • Abby says:

      exactly. This is exactly my take. But that is the vibe in my relationship. My husband isn’t pushing me to work out. I’m pushing MYSELF and he’s supportive.

  11. YaGotMe says:

    Your move Ryan Reynolds

  12. grumpyterrier says:

    Dude, if anyone wonders what mom jeans are then take a look at the girlfriend on the bike, lol.

  13. Psu doh nihm says:

    Girlfriend is like..”must. relax. eyebrows.”

  14. Ally says:

    She’s gorgeous and model-beautiful, but still feels compelled to use her hand to hide her thigh (which the Peloton will develop, btw). Indicative of the not-positive exercise culture.

  15. BabyYoda says:

    Men should not give non-requested work out equipment period end of story. Get her chocolate or massages for a year. Get her something that says I love you as you are. Is that so difficult to comprehend?!? And his gf IS hiding her thighs. Nothing says appropriate gift like “now I must hide my body”. Ugh.

  16. Peter says:

    Maybe he could give himself the gift of acting lessons.