By now, you may have had your fill of the brouhaha over Peloton’s head-scratching—and what many have deemed sexist and dystopian—holiday ad. So come, step over here, and check out an example of fitness marketing done right, courtesy of Bowflex.
Recent spots from Fig for the exercise equipment brand are everything that the Peloton ad is not—fun, relatable, real, human.
The anthem spot (above) is a rallying pep talk to the everyman exerciser, delivered from an array of imperfect, not-so-ripped and not-so-young folks who climb onto their Bowflex machines each day despite their exhaustion, inexperience and jam-packed schedules. “If I can, you can!” they cheer, backed by a rousing track.
Another ad follows a middle-aged woman who drags herself out of bed every morning to exercise, groaning at first but growing more enthusiastic over time.
A man mourns as his machine gets displaced from bedroom to basement as he progresses to become a boyfriend, then husband and then father—an idea meant to highlight that his gear can move easily as his life changes.
Peloton’s recent misstep only helps to bring the astuteness of Bowflex’s message into sharp relief—and consumers have noticed.
But comparisons aside, the new spots, boasting more thoughtful production and storytelling touches, are a fresh step for the 30-year-old brand, previously known for generic informercials and ads that set the aspirational bar inhumanly high with models who seemed to have stepped off the cover of Men’s Health.