For a season so synonymous with happy family memories, Christmas adverts sure are depressing. The last few years have seen a trend in retailers vying for the most heartbreaking Christmas advert. Ready to pull on our heartstrings – and make us part with our precious pennies.
For the most part, these can be a good thing. John Lewis’ latest advert The Man on the Moon was created in partnership with Age UK in a bid to help lonely older people. And then there’s Sainsbury’s Mog the Cat advert, which has partnered with Save the Children. These are both causes we can get behind.
But both of these adverts are nothing – NOTHING, I tell you – compared to this advert from German supermarket EDEKA. I think I’ve watched it about half a dozen times now and every single time I’ve cried. Well, wept. Uncontrollably.
Watch the heartbreaking Christmas advert for yourself:
Uploaded to YouTube just a few days ago, the advert has already picked up almost 10 million views. That’s 10 million people whose hearts have been broken by the tale of this lonely old man.
The advert follows the Christmas of an elderly man who lives with his dog in a lonely old house. As he decorates his Christmas tree, he listens to voicemail messages from his children and grandchildren, telling him that they can’t be with him for the holidays this year.
Resigned to the fact he’ll be spending Christmas alone, the old man tucks into his dinner all by himself.
The advert then cuts to several shots of his family, receiving news of their father’s death. Flying in from all corners of the globe, his children reunite at their father’s house, embracing each other as they break into tears.
But there’s a surprise in store for them. As they enter their father’s house, they’re greeted by the sight of a table, with places laid for ten people. The family look on confused; and then their father emerges from the kitchen. “How else could I have brought you all together? Mmh?” the old man asks.
The advert ends with the family laughing and joking around the table as they tuck into their Christmas meal. And me doing the most ugly happy sob ever.
Are you crying yet?
Because I am. Still.
With a campaign name of ‘Time to come home’, the EDEKA advert is impossibly adorable. It doesn’t just tug on your heartstrings. It rips your heart out and stamps on it with 10-inch heels laced with spikes.
Of course, there are those people who think that the company is just using a heartbreaking story of something that’s very real in order to sell their products. And then you’ve got those who just outright accuse the old man of emotional blackmail. And, while that is true, I guess, we can’t help but feel that EDEKA’s point is a valid one: don’t let your elderly relatives be lonely this Christmas.
Now, excuse me, I’m off to drain my tears into the Thames.
Did this heartbreaking christmas advert make you weep? Let us know in the comments below.