By Steve Otto
Every year we are inundated with lots and lots of commercials. Tis the Christmas season and that means selling lots of stuff for people to buy—mostly as gifts to others. We see the same old symbols—Santa and his reindeers along with Mrs. Clause—Santa’s wife. There are candy canes, giant candles and snow men. And there is Ebenezer Scrooge from the fable, A Christmas Carol: he starts out as a selfish miser
And in the end of the story he turns his life around and after three ghost show him his mistakes—past, present and future, he becomes generous.
So how does he change because he works out? This year we see a Scrooge who uses a Peloton stationary bike and workout set. According to an article on this commercial:
“In Charles Dickens’ , Ebenezer Scrooge finally changed his cruel behavior after a visit from three ghosts. But what if all he needed was a Peloton bike?
Peloton explored this idea in its holiday campaign, When Your Workout Is a Joy, It's a Joy to Work Out, created by Adam & Eve. Comedian Brett Gelman, known for his roles in and , portrays a modern-day Scrooge who despises holiday cheer.
In the campaign’s debut spot, Scrooge screams at a group of carolers, before slamming the door in their faces. But his mood completely changes after he receives a Peloton stationary bike as a gift.”
So what about this ad shows Scrooge changing into a more generous person? Like most ads the message is to buy and consume. This makes a person more fit, but not more generous. One ad shows him asking a young black man what day it is…. "It is August 19." In all this time he is not more generous, just more fit. So along with the messages of this season, this ad only shows selfishness for one person and by proxy, selfishness for the person who buys the product.
Maybe this is what Christmas is really all about—not helping others, just helping yourself. It is all about selfishness and that has nothing to do with the original story. The ad high jacks the original story and uses it for the selfishness of the company who makes Peloton and promotes that for those who use it.
So the message of Christmas, a time of giving and generosity, turns into a season of selfishness, profits and greed!