The Retailer Behind Last Year's Depressing Xmas Funeral Ad Has Another Lesson for 2016

Edeka Urges Parents, Don't Get Wrapped up in Seasonal Nonsense, Just Spend Time With Your Kids

Published On
Nov 21, 2016

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Last year's Christmas ad from Germany's Edeka -- the dark tale of a man who summons his relatives for the holidays by faking his own funeral -- was voted "freaking depressing" by some viewers. This year the brand goes for the jugular again with a somewhat surprising message for a retailer: don't spend all your time buying stuff, making stuff and trying to have Christmas "experiences" -- just spend time with your kids.

The ad, by Jung von Matt, features stressed out parents who are frantically buying trees, cooking, putting up decorations, sorting out their car and dragging their kids 'round Christmas markets in the run-up to the holidays. As they rush around, their kids look even more bored and unhappy; one little boy draws a sad face in the steam on the car window while a little girl even snips off her own hair in a bid for attention as her mom Instagrams a dessert. At some point, though, they become enlightened; the house looks a mess and laundry piles up as the parents finally relax and spend time with their kids. It ends with the now happy family sharing a delicious meal, with food (presumably ready-prepared?) from Edeka.

It's a similar message to that of Sainsbury's Christmas ad in the U.K. -- but, in that animated film, the solution to the problem was that the stressed-out dad clones himself (and surely not doing the laundry is an easier way forward). This approach, featuring live-action scenarios that all parents will recognize, is arguably, more convincing, although not as traditionally "heartwarming." But then again, Edeka is making a name for itself by not being heartwarming, and it's an effective way to stand out among the holiday crowd.