It seemed as though you couldn’t throw a rock last week without hitting a take about the new Peloton holiday commercial, “The Gift That Gives Back,” in which a husband bequeaths his wife the luxury stationary bike for Christmas. Yet … something feels off about the couple, as well as the wife’s newfound dedication to fitness, and the 30-second spot led many to speculate that she was an unwitting hostage in the story. Enter Ryan Reynolds.
Just days later, the Deadpool actor revealed a new ad for his Aviation American Gin, featuring none other than Monica Ruiz, the actress from the Peloton commercial. This counter-ad, “The Gift That Doesn’t Give Back,” very nonchalantly examines the alleged story from a different angle, in which the shell-shocked wife met up with some friends over martinis — who assure her that she’s “safe” now.
“Ads are generally disposable pieces of content,” Reynolds explained to the New York Times in an interview over the weekend, about his viral counter-ad. “If you’re going to do something like this, you have to jump on the zeitgeist-y moment as it happens.” He continued:
“As an actor, I can certainly relate to creating a piece of content or being part of something that’s not well received, and how alienating that can feel. We had immense respect for any reservations she might have had. We don’t want to make the situation any worse for her.”
Ruiz likewise issued a statement about her involvement in the ad:
“Although I’m an actress, I am not quite comfortable being in spotlight and I’m terrible on social media,” she said. “So to say I was shocked and overwhelmed by the attention this week (especially the negative) is an understatement.”
For what it’s worth, the negative connotations and spotlight will eventually subside, and hey! The whole thing might actually turn out to be good for her acting career, when all is said and done. She’s already got one job out of the whole thing, anyway.