If you’ve watched commercial television in recent years, you’ve seen ads for Peloton exercise bikes.
The ubiquitous ads feature attractive, already fit people exercising on the bike in luxurious modern homes with large windows showcasing captivating views of city skylines or breathtaking nature scenes.
“This is how you change your life,” the voice over assures us in one of the commercials. “This is how you make a better day for yourself and your family.”
Those 30- or 60-second spots are only tangentially attempting to sell you the internet connected bike (for the low, low price of $2,000, not including the required monthly subscription). No, the ads are more designed to sell you the key to capturing the lifestyle depicted in the commercials.
This hilarious thread on Twitter highlights the absurdity of it all.
The stationary bikes never go anywhere, but Peloton wants you to believe they will enable you to cross a bridge to the world of your dreams.
Similar to the way luxury car manufacturers usually include shots in their commercials of their vehicles outside homes with a comparably exorbitant price tag, Peloton wants you see their bike as the gateway to the type of life glorified in Western culture—young, beautiful people living fulfilling lives with expensive homes in exciting locales.
Of course, we all know the bikes won’t gratify the longings designed to be awakened in the commercials. In reality, after a few months they’ll likely become glorified coat racks in our modest homes in our normal towns. Yet thousands of people have bought and will continue to buy Peloton bikes on the off chance that maybe, just maybe this one time they’ll find what it is they’re searching for.Whether we’re buying a bike or posting a picture, we are often actually searching for status and significance. We’re just doing so with all the wrong saviors. Click To Tweet
While it may be easy for you or I to recognize the shell game Peloton’s commercials are playing, we may have missed what is right under our own noses. Or perhaps more appropriately what is in our homes, our garages and maybe in our social media feeds.
For some, the allure is owning a certain car, television, computer, video game system, tool, kitchen appliance, or any number of other things. We couldn’t care less about owning an exercise bike, but we have to be one of the first to own the latest iPhone.
For others, what appeals to us is presenting ourselves as a certain type of person online. We want our Twitter followers to think we’re witty. We hope the other moms on Facebook believe we’ve figured out how to balance it all perfectly. Our Instagram feed gives the impression that we lead an exciting, envious life.
In reality, whether we’re buying a bike or posting a picture, we are often actually searching for status and significance. We’re just doing so with all the wrong saviors.
More than likely, you will never capture the lifestyle presented in Peloton commercials. You’ll probably never look like those models (no matter how long you exercise). Those homes will remain squarely out of your budget (and probably so will the exercise bike). You won’t be able to buy the latest gadget. Your social media image probably won’t make everyone jealous of your achievements and expertise.Your value is inherent in your humanity created in God's image, not gained through luxury purchases or just the right social media postings. Click To Tweet
On the surface, we recognize this. No one buys an exercise bike for the expressed purpose of transforming their self-worth. But often that unspoken desire lurks behind our actions. We want to know what we have worth and value, and companies know we will pay virtually any price for the chance to obtain it.
We buy products, go to certain locations, post specific pictures, all to cultivate a certain perception that we’ve convinced ourself will help us achieve what everyone else seemingly already has. We see the happy people in commercials and on our social media feeds. They seem to have it all together. We want what they have, so we bend and shape our lives in attempts to reflect that idealized life we see.
The nagging feeling we have about those we see on our screens is partially true. We are right that those people do have worth and significance, but we’re wrong when we assume they’ve obtained that on their own. We’re also wrong when we assume that we don’t also have the same dignity and value. Yes, the beautiful model riding her Peloton bike in her expensive home overlooking gorgeous scenery has incalculable worth, but so do you. Your value is inherent in your humanity created in God’s image, not gained through luxury purchases or just the right social media postings.Peloton and virtually every other company is selling what Christ has already freely offered us—a life of purpose and significance. Click To Tweet
What greater worth could you have than for God to send His Son to die so that He could provide your redemption? What greater status can you have than being created in the very image of the One who created all things?
No matter how fast you pedal on a stationary bike, you can’t reach what you’re look for. Peloton and virtually every other company is selling what Christ has already freely offered us—a life of purpose and significance. The good news of Christianity is that you don’t have to find a “payment plan that works for you,” it has already been purchased by Christ on the cross.