The Christmas season is officially upon everyone, and that means shopping for things you don’t necessarily need, getting big meals prepared, and watching ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas. Sometimes, companies want to get the message of Christmas across to customers in any way possible. Well, that’s exactly what German supermarket chain Edeka did by creating the saddest Christmas commercial ever.
Just one day into December, and the commercial from Edeka has already gone viral with mixed reactions from those that saw it. As of this writing on Tuesday evening, it has been viewed over 14 million times on YouTube.
As detailed by the Local, Edeka is not just looking to generate business with their Christmas commercial. Their 2015 ad is designed to have viewers try and remember that the most important thing this holiday season isn’t food or gifts or decorations.
An elderly man, played by British actor Arthur Nightingale, starts out the commercial at his home and receiving a voicemail. It’s from his family, letting him know they won’t be able to make it home for Christmas.
— Nick Harrys (@NickHarrys) December 2, 2015
More messages arrive letting him know that the rest of the family won’t make it this year either and that next year may be better. He sits alone at his dinner table night after night and eats dinner by himself by the light of his Christmas tree.
All of his children are shown in their busy lives dealing with work and running around and everything else. A busy mother. A doctor in his hospital. A businessman on a trip to China. All of his children are successful and too busy to come together for Christmas.
That is, until something horrible happens. Something horrible, but with a very happy ending.
Yes, the old man actually faked his death and put his family through complete emotional turmoil, but it was for a good reason. He did it to bring his family together and have them not just there for Christmas, but also to have them know how important it is for them to have that time as a family.
House Beautiful put it in a good way by saying that “the people we love are the easiest ones to take for granted, and so the guilt that we feel when they’re gone is unbearable.”
This commercial is a good way to have many people realize that they need to cherish their loved ones and not let other things get in the way. Yes, work is important and being busy is understandable, but if not the holidays, then when can you make time to be one as a family?
— Fortune (@FortuneMagazine) December 2, 2015
Now, the idea of faking your own death in order to bring your family together for Christmas is one that many think Edeka took too far. A lot of complaining comments were made on the YouTube video saying that it was dark and sinister and had not a single ounce of the spirit of Christmas.
The whole idea from Edeka comes forth with the hashtag of #heimkommen which means “come home.”
British chains Sainsbury’s and John Lewis always bring about big-time commercials each holiday season, and they’re often see as extremely heartwarming and touching. A lot of people have taken to social media to say that Edeka has them beat this year.
— Peter Brönnimann (@PBroennimann) November 28, 2015
That sentiment has been mirrored by many on Facebook and Twitter.
German supermarket chain Edeka brought forth a Christmas commercial that may have some questionable content, but it really did deliver a great message. Getting past the somewhat dark moment in the middle, it’s there to make everyone remember those they have, before they’re gone.
[Image via Shutterstock]