Back in November, Peloton—then a newly public company—aired a commercial featuring a woman who came to be known as “Peloton wife.” In the 30-second spot, she receives a surprise Peloton bike from a man we presume to be her Peloton husband, then a year later surprises him turn with a video documenting her journey from nervous newbie to forever changed rider. Viewers did not like this ad. At best it was awkward, at worst it was dystopian and sexist. Peloton’s stock dipped 15% as detractors on social media roasted the company. Peloton didn’t exactly apologize, but told CNBC “we’re disappointed in how some have misinterpreted this commercial.”
A few months later Covid-19 put the world on lockdown, and suddenly a Peloton didn’t seem like such a bad gift after all. When Peloton reported earnings May 6 for the quarter ended on March 31, financial chief Jill Woodward said the company couldn’t make bikes as fast as people were buying them, and that orders continue to be backlogged in every region.