Alright. I’m just going to get this out of the way up front. Yes, the commercial I’m about to discuss is a shameless tug at the heartstrings, but humor me here: Couldn’t we all use a little more sweetness in our lives these days? (If your answer is no, bah humbug to you, Scrooge.)
A couple of years ago, it was Chevrolet that did the tugging. Joe Cunningham perfectly captured the magic of a daughter’s love letter to her father — in the form of a beloved, restored convertible. In case you missed it or need a refresher: Did Chevrolet Have to Make America Cry With Its New Christmas Ad?
Lately, I’ve been finding myself swimming in nostalgia. Whether it was contemplating the wonder of The Beatles and the technology that made the release of their new old single possible (The Beatles ‘Now and Then’ Short Film Is Mind-Blowing, Hearing John Lennon’s Voice Clearly 40 Years On), reflecting on my law school days as I attended my 30-year law school reunion in Chicago, or mourning the untimely loss of a Friend, I’ve spent a good amount of time looking back fondly on simpler times.
I suppose it’s understandable. With the world as chaotic as it seems these days, why wouldn’t we long for happier, less complicated days?
So it was that I found myself on this late fall Saturday afternoon, watching Hallmark. (I watch news basically 24/7 during the week. Cut a gal some slack.) During a commercial break, I got up to get something from the kitchen. From the family room, I heard the unmistakable refrain from a Beatles classic.
I was drawn back to the TV to determine the context. And this is what I was treated to:
The scene opens on three elderly ladies seated together on a park bench looking up at a snow-filled hill, with kids sledding down it. One lady winces as she sits down gingerly. Another squints up at the sledders through her glasses, the eyesight not what it once was.
At first, it wasn’t clear what the lady on the left was ordering on her phone. But soon, it became apparent. And while, yes, we might have to suspend our disbelief a bit to envision these extra-golden girls actually braving a snowy descent on sleds in their current state, we’re treated to their joy and laughter, as well as their memories of long-ago sled rides, when joints didn’t ache, and eyes saw clearer, and playing in the snow with your friends was everything.
In those moments, all that mattered was the laughter and fun and friendship.
So this year’s tearjerker ad comes to us from Amazon. And we can think what we want about the e-commerce giant or its owner, but the team that created this commercial knew what they were doing. Combining that song with that scene, well, it’s pitch-perfect.
I’m not going to lie; it had the tears streaming for me (and still, even as I write this), but I think we’ve established that I’m a sap in addition to not being all that far behind these ladies myself.
It isn’t just a message for ladies-of-a-certain-age, though. It’s a reminder that as sweet and simple as the days of our youth may have seemed, there’s no time like the present to share laughter and fun with the people we hold dear.