Was Bowflex an Unexpected Beneficiary of the ‘Peloton Wife’ Ad?

The fitness brand's casting of average people runs in contrast to recent bike-related buzz

Collage of stills from bowflex ad
Bowflex's five 30-second spots empower viewers to embrace their wellness goals by casting "normal looking" people. Bowflex

Perhaps thanks to that holiday ad highlighting the trials and tribulations of a stereotyped, societally acceptable Peloton Wife on a $2,400+ stationary bike, Bowflex’s motivational ads with regular people that launched this summer are getting noticed again.

Twitter users expressed how much they related to or appreciated the Bowflex ads from the summer, directly comparing them to the Peloton holiday fluke. One user was pleased that there was a woman in the Bowflex ad that looks “more like the average body type” (and, unbelievably, actually perspires)! Another user was shocked that Bowflex used “normal looking” people for their ads—and she liked it.

The five 30-second spots that make up the campaign were the manifestation of Bowflex’s new brand platform. They feature “real-life” people—or, at least people who look less like professional models and more like the average shopper at the local mall. The actors represent a wide assortment of races, ages, body types, genders and social classes, emphasizing that Bowflex is made for everyone who is willing to embark on a fitness journey—be they new parents, busybodies, dog lovers, workout newbies or people who hit the snooze button too much. The message of “Stronger Every Day” is authentic and effective: if they can, you can too.

Bowflex, owned by fitness conglomerate Nautilus, chose New York independent shop Fig as its first creative agency of record back in July. The decision was partly due to the upsurge of at-home smart fitness DTC brands, like Tonal and Mirror, with the ambition to refresh Bowflex from a high-end fitness product to a more inspirational and inclusive brand.

Per a spokesperson for Bowflex, the campaign is a rallying cry for all of us who struggle to find the energy and motivation to work out, offering us the inspiration and encouragement we need to get started and keep going: “It shows that Bowflex truly gets our daily challenges and will be there along the way to support our fitness journey.”

Bowflex ads target the 99%, while Peloton brands itself as a pricey home exercise bike for the elite. While the Bowflex ads may not be as meme-able, they arguably portray that not all marketers are in the dark.

Credits for Love Journey, Start of a Journey and If I Can, You Can/Anthem 30:


Mark Figliulo, Founder
Scott Vitrone, Chief Creative Officer
Judith Carr-Rodriguez, Partner and CEO
Caroline Krediet, Chief Strategy Officer
Robert Valdes, Chief Content Officer
Ben Grube, Creative Director
Brian Eden, Creative Director
Jill Landaker-Grunes, Executive Producer
Joseph Street, Senior Producer
Adolfo Alcala and Dave Canning, Creatives
Kristen King, Executive Director Client Services
Katie Gallagher, Senior Account Director
Lexie Baughman, Account Executive

Production – Reset

Adam Hashemi, Director
JP Colombo, Head of Production
Megan Moore, Executive Producer
Mark Berger, Line Producer

Editorial – Cartel

Lauren Bleiweiss, Executive Producer
Greer Bratschie, Producer
Adam Robinson and Leo Scott, Editors
Zach Kaigler, Assistant Editor

Sound – Heard City

Sasha Awn, Executive Producer
Michael Vitacco, Mixer

Post-Production – Blacksmith

Ashley Goodwin, Executive Producer
Mikey Pehanich, Colorist

Music – Storefront Music

Adam Elk
John “Scrapper” Sneider
Kirsten Messier
It Just Keeps Getting Better, performed By Joe Keene

Music – Tuesday Collective

Theodore De Gunzburg, Executive Producer

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@monicroqueta monica.zorrilla@adweek.com Mónica is a breaking news reporter at Adweek.