The German Christmas commercial that's bringing people to tears around the world

In a holiday season where we can't gather the way we normally would, pretty much any family-oriented Christmas commercial is bound to evoke some emotion. But a German ad company has succeeded in taking it to another level.

People are calling it the "world's best Christmas ad" and it has gone incredibly viral with more than 13 million views on YouTube alone—a bit of a surprise for a company few people outside of Northern Europe have ever heard of. But when you start with a mystery and lead viewers to a sweet conclusion that would make even the Grinchiest of hearts grow a few sizes, it's hard not to gain a wide audience.



According to TODAY, the German ad agency Jung von Matt created the 2-minute spot for Dutch pharma company DocMorris. The storyline itself doesn't really have anything to do with pharmaceuticals, but that's the beauty of it.

The ad opens with a scene of an elderly gentlemen looking at photos on his wall, then noticing someone hauling a Christmas tree. He appears to have an epiphany, then goes to pull a kettle bell out of his dusty garage. He can barely lift the kettle bell at first, but as the season changes from fall to winter, we see him get up each morning and engage in a newfound fitness routine. He seems fiercely determined as he lifts the heavy weight a bit higher each time before dropping it. He keeps putting a framed picture in front of him when he does his routine, giving viewers a clue that he's doing all of this for someone, though we don't know who.

Neighbors notice him grunting through his lifts and seem a bit concerned. Someone calls his daughter, who shows up, says the only word spoken throughout the commercial—"Papa?"— then turns around and leaves after seeing what he was doing.

Finally, we see the old man all dressed up and arriving at the same daughter's house for Christmas...and get an answer to the question of what he's been working up to.

DocMorris Weihnachtsfilm #Herzensangelegenheit www.youtube.com


Aw dang, right? All of that to build a Christmas memory with his granddaughter—one she'll probably remember long after he's gone.

If you're wondering what the words say at the end, they translate to "So that you can take care of what really matters in life" and "Discover your health." Those phrases may have seemed cliche a year ago, but with the whole world reeling from a global pandemic—one that is particularly lethal to our elders—they are a good reminder that health enables us to fully engage in life. And now that our health is collectively intertwined, it's also a good reminder of who and what we are protecting by practicing public health measures and working toward ending the pandemic.

Ads like this that resonate around the globe are the best, as they clearly touch on universal emotions and experiences. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, the significance of creating a meaningful moment between multiple generations in a family is something we all can appreciate. And since millions of families will be missing out on such moments this year—with the hope that missing out on them now will ensure more of them in the future—seeing this story play out is just incredibly moving.

Danke schön, Jung von Matt.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.