How Peloton Pivoted from Toasting to New Beginnings to Let’s Forget This Ever Happened…
Has Peloton’s video clip featuring Chris Noth become a social media one night stand that it wants to forget?
It’s been a busy year for Peloton. Let’s recap.
During the height of the pandemic, buyers rushed to buy the high-priced bikes from the interactive exercise company. Since then, there have been some lows, including supply chain problems, dwindling sales, and allegations of pay inequity plaguing the fitness company.
Peloton, despite challenges, promised to develop more budget-friendly items to expand its consumer base and said it had exciting fitness offerings coming soon. There have been some highs: Peloton Guide was released, and more recently, Peloton Boxing was unveiled, a holiday gift to its devotees who have long begged for Peloton to offer boxing.
And then, just like that, Mr. Big (Chris Noth) was killed off while enjoying a ride on Peloton’s bike in the first episode of Sex and the City‘s spin-off. Peloton insists that it was unaware of the plot twist when it gave HBO the go-ahead to use its bike and instructor in the And Just Like That… reboot.
In response to the premiere, shares of Peloton fell the morning after the episode aired. The company’s cardiologist issued a statement urging viewers to pay attention to Mr. Big’s hedonistic lifestyle, which she noted includes cocktails, cigars, and large steaks, among other things. Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, the medical specialist in charge of Mr. Big’s post-cardiac-event damage control, said that Mr. Big’s regular Peloton bike rides may have even delayed his heart attack.
To their credit, Peloton’s in-house cardiologist coming forth with an official statement was a wise PR move. But the company went even further and made a creative decision that would garner attention and hopefully help restore Peloton’s place in the fitness industry.
With the support of Ryan Reynold’s marketing firm, Maximum Effort, Peloton was able to post a social media video clip in just 48 hours. Maximum Effort’s parent firm, MNTN, aided in speeding up the production of the ad. The video, which featured a vivacious and rather flirtatious Mr. Big and Peloton instructor Jess King, celebrated the start of a new chapter. The clip, published on Peloton’s social media pages on a lazy Sunday afternoon, quickly circulated and became a hit.
And now the ad has been removed from all of Peloton’s platforms after The Hollywood Reporter shared detailed allegations of inappropriate behavior by Chris Noth. Two anonymous women came forward with the allegations, and most recently, Zoe Lister-Jones, actress and producer, called North “a sexual predator” on her Instagram page.
Chris Noth has called the claims false, responding to the allegations in The Hollywood Reporter. “The accusations against me made by individuals I met years, even decades, ago are categorically false,” he said. “These stories could’ve been from 30 years ago or 30 days ago — no always means no — that is a line I did not cross. It’s difficult not to question the timing of these stories coming out. I don’t know for certain why they are surfacing now, but I do know this: I did not assault these women.”
“Every single sexual assault accusation must be taken seriously,” Peloton said in a statement to Variety. “We were unaware of these allegations when we featured Chris Noth in our response to HBO’s reboot. As we seek to learn more, we have stopped promoting this video and archived related social posts.”
Ryan Reynolds has also deleted his social media posts that promoted the Peloton ad.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.