Remember last year’s iPad commercial that you couldn’t get through a single rerun of "How I Met Your Mother" on Hulu without seeing? (Shout-out to those premium, ad-less customers, but I cannot be you.) Remember how it made you choke up no matter how many times you saw it? If you really need me to jog your memory, here you go.
Last year’s ads packed on the nostalgia, and in 2018, we got this Elton John commercial that got us right in the heartstrings, all about how much meaning could go behind a gift. We know that these too-sweet commercials are the trend of the season, but every year, the holiday ads sneak up on us, burrowing into our tear ducts and refusing to let us get on with gift-wrapping and cocoa-sipping without a good cry or three.
Which brings us to this year’s contender for Best/Worst Holiday Commercial. Created by German ad agency Jung von Matt, the spot hails from Holland and represents Dutch pharmacy company Doc Morris, starring an elderly man beginning a fitness journey. Why do they always have to feature a sweet old man?
I’ll let you watch for yourself before diving in:
Our lovely protagonist is reflecting on his life one morning with some old photographs. Paired with a long, loving gaze at one particular unseen photo, he's prompted to dust off an old kettlebell and start working on his fitness (*insert Fergie here*). His neighbors think it’s strange and his daughter is worried about his newfound gainz obsession, but all comes together on what looks like Christmas Eve.
You see, Grandpa just wanted to be able to hoist his granddaughter up to put the star on top of the tree! We zoom in on his daughter’s face, eyes filling with tears, and we, too, immediately need a tissue. Snaps for Jung von Matt.
Other 2020 ads, like Microsoft’s and Amazon’s, predictably focus on the silving linings of #PandemicLife, which is of course very sweet, but is also reminiscent of pretty much every ad we’ve seen since March. At least Fit Grandpa is a nice change of pace with equal amounts of emotion. Although, special shout-out to Kohl’s, because theirs is really a sentimental doozy.
Happy holidays from us, crying on the couch.