German supermarket′s Christmas ad goes viral | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 30.11.2015
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German supermarket's Christmas ad goes viral

A new Christmas ad from German grocery chain Edeka has gone viral. Edeka's holiday commercial reminds people of the important things in life in a tragic piece of storytelling. Reactions all over the world are mixed.

Edeka, Germany's largest supermarket chain isn't well-known internationally. But it's certainly in the spotlight this week, after it released a Christmas advertisement this week that has since gone viral. Close to 4.7 million people around the world have viewed the clip on YouTube as of early Monday afternoon, with the hashtags #Edeka and #heimkommen ("coming home") appearing all over social media.

Following the tradition of tearjerking holiday spots from fellow supermarket chains like Britain's Sainsbury's, Edeka's ad aims to tug on the heartstrings - and it tugs hard. It starts with an old man coming home with groceries just in time to hear his daughter leaving a message on his answering machine.

She says she won't be able to make it for Christmas this year, but will definitely make it next year. A series of shots featuring the old man eating Christmas dinner alone year in and year out tells the viewers it's unlikely she really ever comes home for Christmas.

But then the old man hatches a plan to get all of his children home for the holidays. As plans go, his is rather dark and departs more than slightly from heartwarming into heartbreaking.

But the ad resonated with many on social media.

Not everybody saw the ad so positively. Many didn't quite know what to make of it, others still found it heavyhanded.

This Twitter user called it "shock therapy at its finest."

Despite the critical voices, the responses to the video were still overwhelmingly positive. The theme of loneliness at a time of celebrations filled with family and friends, is one tha many can relate to.

And Edeka isn't the only only one standing up for the lonesome. Swedish furniture maker Ikea has started an online platform in Germany where people are able to register themselves as "hosts" or "guests." The goal is to get groups of strangers together for meals during the Christmas season who may otherwise have been dining alone - like the old man in the Edeka ad.

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