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Supermarket TV ad about lonely German grandpa is online hit with grim Christmas message

BERLIN – A German supermarket chain’s holiday TV ad has prompted floods of tears with its story about an old man whose children never visit, not even at Christmas.

His children finally return home after being told of grandpa’s death only to discover that he didn’t die after all.

The video from the EDEKA supermarket has racked up almost 20 million views online in five days, with “can’t stop crying” among the typical comments.

Elke Schilling says Wednesday the ad addresses a sensitive topic in Germany, where an estimated 8 million people over 60 suffer from loneliness.

Schilling, a retiree who is launching a hotline for lonely older Germans, says using the issue to promote a supermarket was “a bit grotesque” but hopes the chain will support her cause.

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Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6-0kYhqoRo