Peloton taps Ryan Reynolds to help address ‘Sex and the City’ reboot controversy
Ryan Reynolds is joining forces with the Peloton company to address a recent controversy spurred by Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That.
And Just Like That courted controversy in its very first episode, after the HBO Max series made the dramatic decision to kill off main character Carrie Bradshaw’s husband, Big, in the first episode’s final moments. The scene sees Big, now comfortably in his late middle age, finishing a ride on his Peloton bike before hopping off to take a shower. Before he can rinse off, however, Big suffers from a heart attack, and ultimately dies.
In the aftermath of the episode, stock for real-life Peloton bikes plummeted. This prompted the company to join forces with Ryan Reynolds, whose name is already loosely associated with the exercise bike brand. That’s thanks to Reynolds’ reaction to 2019’s widely panned Peloton commercial, which saw a very thin, athletic wife receive a Peloton for Christmas. In response to the reaction the commercial got, Reynolds cast the same actress for an Aviation Gin commercial that poked fun at Peloton.
This charming back and forth culminated on Dec. 12 when Reynolds assisted Peloton in releasing a timely reaction commercial, gently hitting back at And Just Like That. In a careful reminder that exercise is actually good for the heart, the commercial sees Chris Noth, the actor who portrayed Big on the show, enjoying a quiet evening with Jess King, who played the character’s Peloton instructor in the series.
Behind the couple, two Peloton bikes are tidily arranged, facing the TV. As the camera shifts to show the bikes, Reynolds’ voice cuts in, taking advantage of Sex and the City‘s classic voiceovers to instead list the benefits of frequent exercise.
Starting the voice-over with a playful “and just like that,” Reynolds launched into a speedy, humorous list of the advantages of cycling. “Regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs, and circulation,” the voice-over explains. “Reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Cycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers the resting pulse, and reduces blood fat levels.” The commercial concludes with a speedy note that “he’s alive” before cutting to the Peloton brand’s logo.
It’s an exceedingly clever commercial, as advertisements go. By tying Noth in, it directly links back to And Just Like That‘s big reveal, allowing Peloton to poke fun at the show without blatantly calling it out. Adding in Reynolds was nothing short of genius, as the actor is well known for using his real-world friends and psuedo-enemies to aid in branding for products.
When the ad initially hit social media, many people wondered if it was a real commercial or another humorous jab from Reynolds to the popular fitness brand. An hour after it arrived on Reynolds’ Instagram, however, the ad was also released by Peloton itself, erasing any confusion.