Of cold wind and warm hearts

The end of October has brought a chilly wind to North Texas. I’m wearing long sleeved flannel. The cold gray sky energizes me.

I love this time of year best. It’s a contemplative time, reminding me that the holidays will be here soon and of the nearly seventy holidays behind me.

It’s the thinky-feely season.

I just found this online. It’s a Christmas commercial. Tens of thousands of web browsers agree that it’s the best ever made. Check it out and decide for yourself. Then scroll down for a couple of quick thoughts.

First of all, this is a commercial for a German supermarket chain. You couldn’t know that unless you recognized the very small logo at the end. (I Googled it.) Still, it’s a nice spot.

No, it’s more than nice. It’s ruthless.

Beautiful images of beautiful people, lovely music, a floppy eared dog, a sweet old man sadly chopping carrots and eating all alone at a huge, empty Christmas table.

Suddenly we’re apparently in a hospital somewhere in Asia where a Caucasian family seems to be getting terrible news from a doctor and we get a glimpse of what appears to be a card announcing a death in the family. Could it be Grandpa? How could a white doctor in Asia know about this and why are they getting their mail there?

I could be wrong about all of this but it moves pretty quickly.

The family suddenly realizes how shitty they’ve been. They feel bad about their selfishness but good old Grandpa, the wise elder, dissolves all their heartaches by magically showing up unexpectedly, arms open wide as they invade his home with what appears to be a group of mourners dressed in black arriving to celebrate his life or loot his home, who knows?

I’m just spitballing here.

Anyway, they reunite and share hugs, tears and the joys of lifetimes of love.

It really is sweet but it’s also shamelessly manipulative and cheesy. Look at it again and see what you you take from this.

It’s a German commercial filmed in Korea or Japan; the background song and the Christmas card are rendered in English.

I’m confused.

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Author: Dave

Dave Williams is a radio news/talk personality originally from Sacramento, now living in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Carolann. They have two sons and grandsons living in L.A.

6 thoughts on “Of cold wind and warm hearts”

  1. I watched it a while back when someone pointed it out as being popular. Not sure I agree with the team that made this one. Confusing is a mild way of describing it.

    1. I just watched that spot for the umpteenth time. Like you I am not unfamiliar with TV commercials. It seemed to be a biggish story crammed together into a very short space. (Actually, 1:46!) I think I finally figured it out:

      The doctor in the hospital is the old man’s son-in-law. He’s the one who dragged his wife, the old man’s daughter, and their daughter to Japan or Korea or someplace leaving the old man all alone.We see the doctor feel guilty about that. Then we see the old man appear from the other room, scaring the crap out of his sorrowful family and their mourning posse. Apparently the old man is a bit of a shit disturber because he faked his death to get them to come home for Christmas. What an a-hole. I don’t feel sorry for him anymore..

      It was a hugely overly huge idea beautifully produced. It bites off more than it can swallow but is still effective. I’m dying to go shopping at an Edeka supermarket.

      (That was sarcasm.)

  2. I think you missed the point. It is a wake, orchestrated by Grandpa. He has 2 sons (a businessman in Asia and a Doctor somewhere) and a Daughter with 3 grandchildren (see the christmas card he places on the mantel). Everyone loves “Daddy” but they have lives that make it “impossible” to get away and visit him, even for the Holidays. In lonely desperation he sends word of his demise and a printed bulletin about the funeral service to his daughter. We see the grief his children feel at his loss, and the time they are able to find in their busy schedules to bring the entire family together for Daddy’s funeral. They’re all there, his children, their spouses and the grandchildren. How else could he get them all together he asks. Yes, it’s meant to tug at the heartstrings, and perhaps even evoke feelings of guilt over losing perspective in our lives over what is truly important. It reminds us of the importance of sharing our love with our family while they are still here, instead of waiting for the funeral. Manipulative and cheesy, perhaps, or maybe a reminder that our aging parents won’t be with us forever. It is the type of PSA that is common in many countries and I find them touching. We have our share of “Hallmark” type of ads as well, but ours are usually a little more subtle. The overall message is the same. Make time for those you love.

    1. Gloria, you got it right. Took me awhile to get close but you figured out the little things I never noticed. I love that about you.

      I will say I understood the message and appreciated it. It certainly wasn’t hard to get, it kind of hits you over the head with a two-by-four. But yes, it’s nice to remind the full grown children in our lives that Grandpa is alone and could use a little personal contact once in awhile.

      Now, here’s a surprise. I just Googled the soft-pedaled sponsor of this message, the German supermarket corporation Edeka, and it turns out it is a controversial activist company! See below.

      So much for soft and feely. 🙂

  3. For that commercial, the wiles of the grandpa in getting his family together was my take-away. The kids in our family don’t have the means to travel, so we’re the ones on the plane. That geezer was pretty clever.
    Autumn has always been my favorite season too. I like how you wrote that the cool air energizes you. I feel the same. It’s time to rip out the garden and let the yard rest.

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