The Margin: Peloton’s viral ad captures a ‘116 lb woman’s YEARLONG fitness journey to becoming a 112 lb woman’

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It’s the classic feel-good Christmas tale.

A husband wants his wife to lose a little around the middle, so he gives her some exercise equipment. She’s thrilled but also scared. She captures her journey of apparent self-discovery on social media for a year, so that the happy couple can celebrate the following Christmas by reviewing her progress.

The end.

That’s the quick and cynical take — and there are plenty of those going around — on Peloton’s new holiday ad for its popular exercise bike, dubbed “The gift that gives back.” Or as some have called it, the “new season of Black Mirror.”

Either way, if there’s no such thing as bad publicity, Peloton, which sells exercise bikes with screens that connect cyclists for remote classes, nailed it.

Here’s the whole 30-second clip:

As you can see, “thumbs down” outnumber “thumbs up” by 15 to 1, and Peloton opted to have the comments turned off. That’s probably a good thing, considering the kind of backlash it was getting across Twitter TWTR, -1.59%  .

So many questions! Why is she so terrified? What’s up with the Instagram story, and who’d want to review her year on the bike? How exactly did it change her? And that soundtrack? Here’s just a taste:

Eva Victor summed it all up with her version of the ad:

Peloton did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The hubub didn’t hurt Peloton’s stock PTON, +4.57%  , which rose nearly 5% during Monday’s session. After a slow start following its September IPO, shares have surged 47% over the past month.