Speed Kills!

December 14, 2021


Speed kills is a statement that is used in law enforcement and sports. Now, we can add advertising to the list of applicable uses for this powerful phrase thanks to Ryan Reynolds, his ad agency team, Maximum Effort, and Peloton.

The backstory


Peloton experienced the wrath of the public when a popular television series returns and kills a prominent character immediately after riding a Peloton exercise bike. The implication being the character died because of the Peloton. The response by the viewing public was swift and harsh resulting in Peloton stock falling 11%. The story was trending across social and traditional media. What was Peloton to do?

Enter Ryan Reynolds


Ryan Reynolds, the snarky movie actor, entrepreneur, and now advertising executive, stepped into a Peloton “experience” with the public a year or so ago when Peloton was criticized for using a fit and trim actress in their advertising promoting weight loss and conditioning. Reynolds stepped in to create an ad featuring the same actress to make light to situation and dispel the conflict for Peloton. The best part of this response ad was that it was created and aired within 24 hours of the public commotion. The speed of response was as noteworthy as the content. So, it makes sense that Peloton enlist Reynolds to work his magic again.



Speed is important and so is the content. In the case of the two Peloton ads, the ability to get the main characters of the controversy to be featured in the counter ads punches the conflict fit in the face. The actor whose character dies on TV is featured in the ad with the Peloton instructor from the TV show showing he is alive, well, and ready to ride again. Reynolds takes it a step further by sharing the benefits of riding a Peloton on the voice over closing with the statement “He’s alive.”

Take a look –




The idea of challenging the thinking of those that reacted to the TV series with this ad and the speed by which it is created and aired is influential in the success of this effort. Including the benefits of riding a Peloton in the ad is a stronger challenge standing toe to toe with the series reaction. Challenging conventional thinking and practices are something most people are not equipped to do. They do not think this way. They are afraid to act this way. People generally prefer to follow the leader. Being a challenger is a unique gift when you can execute it in a meaningful way. History is filled with challengers that have both succeeded and failed. We usually only remember the successes. Ryan Reynolds is obviously as challenger. Remember the movie “Green Lantern?”

The Brand


Speed, content, and approach are all important ingredients in the success of the Peloton ads. The special sauce is the reputation (AKA brand) of Ryan Reynolds. He is known as being funny and a smart alec that is edgy and irreverent through his movies and interviews. This immediately attracts his fans to these ads and aligns his clients with his brand. He is magnetic and so are his ads.



The real accomplishment is recognizing and leveraging speed, content, approach, and the Reynolds brand. All these pieces exist on their own. Ryan Reynolds and team are smart enough to put them together for the benefit of their clients and business.

Congratulations, Peloton, Maximum Effort, and Ryan Reynolds. You are killin’ it!

speed kills

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