Google data analysis has shown an 809% increase in the use of the query 'cancel peloton subscription', after Sex and the City character Mr Big exited the sequel series And Just Like That following an exercise-induced fatal heart attack.
Experts at 'MapleCasino' said that searches for 'peloton safety' were also up 733% on December 10, showing more interest in the fatality risk of home exercise bike use than the show itself - which saw a search volume jump of 488% after airing.
Peloton stock prices dropped by 16 per cent following the fictional death as the interest in opting out eclipsed the usual question: 'Is the Peloton app subscription and bike worth it?'
However, the at-home exercise class subscription service, which sells its own Peloton bike and treadmill, was quick to react, launching a commercial that extols the benefits of cycling as a low risk form of exercise.
Peloton's ad features Chris Noth, who plays Mr. Big, relaxing with Jess King, the real life Peloton instructor who led the session which induced the apparently lethal heart attack, before concluding: "And just like that... the world was reminded that regular cycling stimulates your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases."
And just like that...he's alive. pic.twitter.com/bVX8uWypFZDecember 12, 2021
If the quick response sounds somewhat pre-meditated to you, we don't blame you - it seemed questionable to us, too.
However, according to The Verge, Peloton’s SVP of global communications Jessica Kleiman has said: “We were not made aware of the plotline,” before adding "this was a casting opportunity for one of our instructors for an acting role — not an official brand integration or product placement.”
Apparently, the commercial was filmed over the weekend, in collaboration with Ryan Reynolds and his marketing company, Maximum Effort, with the production completed within 48 hours.
It's not the first time Peloton has made the news for one of its ads, in 2019 it lost $1.5billion after its Christmas ad was branded “sexist and dystopian”, according to The Guardian.
If And Just Like That hasn't put you off of indoor cycling then take a look at our guide to the best exercise bikes available right now. (And yes, we're still including Peloton!)
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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