After Peloton came under fire on social media for the perceived message it was sending, Ryan Reynolds hired Monica Ruiz for a brilliant response ad promoting his Aviation Gin.
All the Peloton backlash helped the woman at the center of the controversial ad, Monica Ruiz, land her next gig, and become a bit of a public sensation, which she's not entirely comfortable with.
In that ad for Peloton, a husband gets his wife an exercise bike for Christmas and she spends the next year chronicling her fitness journey. Critics thought it was a misogynistic statement about the husband wanting his wife to be thin -- noting also that she was already incredibly fit. In response to that reaction, Reynolds hired Ruiz to promote his own Aviation Gin brand, as if she was the same character.
Ruiz released a statement through her talent agency, as received by ComicBook.com, where she admitted she was a bit shocked and overwhelmed by all the attention the initial ad received.
"I was happy to accept a job opportunity earlier this year from Peloton and the team was lovely to work with," said Monica Ruiz. "Although I'm an actress, I am not quite comfortable being in [the] spotlight and I'm terrible on social media. So to say I was shocked and overwhelmed by the attention this week (especially the negative) is an understatement."
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"When Ryan and his production team called about Aviation Gin, they helped me find some humor in the situation," she continued. "I am grateful to both Peloton and now Aviation Gin for the work and giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do."
While many companies have bowed to public pressure over controversial ads, Peloton stands by theirs, releasing a statement received by Inc: "While we're disappointed in how some have misinterpreted this commercial, we are encouraged by--and grateful for--the outpouring of support we've received from those who understand what we were trying to communicate."
That response only heightened the online vitriol last week, which made it perfect bait for Reynolds to jump into the fray with a statement of his own, and he did so in the absolute best way possible ... by hiring Ruiz to continue her character's story, tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Without directly referencing the controversial ad at all, Reynolds' ad simply focuses on Ruiz during a night out with two of her girlfriends. She essentially spends the ad staring wistfully into the camera because clearly she's been through a thing and it got pretty heavy.
If viewers thought she looked scared in the original Peloton ad, Ruiz takes it to a whole new level here, and her friends were beyond supportive. "You're safe here," one tells her after she remarks how smooth the gin is and the other offers to get her another one.
The best part comes when the women take a sip of their drinks only for the Peloton woman to down hers in one gulp. And then, for the final kicker, after the camera has cut you can hear one of the women tell her, "You look great, by the way!"
Clearly, this was a nod to the year of grueling workouts she endured via Peloton so she could craft her already honed body into a ... still honed body?
"Exercise bike not included," Reynolds captured his video clip on his social media, just in case anyone didn't get the references. Don't worry, Ryan. We definitely got them.
You can check out the original ad, which Peloton stands behind, below: