BERLIN – A German supermarket chain’s holiday TV ad has prompted floods of tears with its story about an old man whose children never visit, not even at Christmas. His children finally return home after being told of grandpa’s death only to discover that he didn’t die after all.
The video from the EDEKA supermarket has racked up almost 20 million views online in five days, with “can’t stop crying” among the typical comments. Elke Schilling says Wednesday the ad addresses a sensitive topic in Germany, where an estimated 8 million people over 60 suffer from loneliness.
Schilling, a retiree who is launching a hotline for lonely older Germans, says using the issue to promote a supermarket was “a bit grotesque” but hopes the chain will support her cause.
Nearly 53 million people have watched the video produced by the German supermarket chain, Edeka. And, in almost every comment made by people reposting or sharing the link, weeping figures prominently. It’s enough to make you weep. A dark and disturbing video/advertisement of an old man about to spend the holidays alone has gone viral, perhaps because it has a social message that transcends retailers’ usual commercial imperative to sell more stuff. The old man’s children and grandchildren are too busy to visit. They live too far away. They have other places they need to be. Everybody has a reason. Everybody says they miss him. They’re thinking him.
So, the poor old man is left alone to chop his vegetables and cook his own Christmas dinner. He eats alone at the dining room table in front of a decorated tree. His only saving grace, it seems, is that he has a dog.The heartbreaking message is as relevant in USA as it apparently is in Germany. Aging parents, grandparents and elderly friends are often neglected at this time of year.
You can watch the video below.