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Comment Deirdre Reynolds: SuperValu's festive TV ad should come with an elf warning for tears


The Supervalu Christmas ad

The Supervalu Christmas ad

The Supervalu Christmas ad

It didn't have a multi-million euro budget, celeb soundtrack or tie-in cuddly toy, but there wasn't a dry eye in the house when SuperValu's festive TV ad debuted this week.

The simple but sweet commercial sees a young lad named Conor ask his mam and dad, "Is he still coming this year?", as he pens a familiar-looking letter, festoons the front garden with a 'Please Stop Here' sign and leaves milk and mince pies by the fireplace.

And, like everyone else, it got me right in the festive feels when it was revealed (spoiler alert) the visitor the boy couldn't wait to see was, in fact, his grandad.

In a week that saw Tánaiste Leo Varadkar dash hopes of many a Yuletide reunion across the country, after advising Irish people abroad not to book flights home for Christmas just yet, Wednesday's 60-second slot should have come with an elf warning: may cause uncontrollable blubbing.

Santa hats off to the real-life Don Drapers at TBWA Dublin, the creative agency behind the ad, for proving that it doesn't take jingle bells and whistles to tug at the heartstrings - or flog Signature Tastes Mince Pies ("his favourites!") - this Covid Christmas.

The sob-o-meter continued to work overtime when the young Cork star of the ad revealed how the current Level 5 restrictions have stopped him from giving his own grandparents a squeeze.

"I haven't seen my nana and grandad in a long time," eight year-old Cian Kearney told 96FM after shooting to fame overnight. "My grandad wants an autograph!"

'Tis the season to be bawly, and McDonalds sleighed me further later in the week with its animated 'Inner Child' Christmas promo, asking: "Are You Reindeer Ready?"

It certainly looked like rain, dear - on my face - after viewing the tale of a mum trying to get her teen son to recapture the childlike wonder of the season to a cover of Forever Young.

So it was a relief to find that I haven't completely defrosted when the much-anticipated John Lewis advert dropped online on Friday - what an absolute pile of snowballs. This year's campaign, urging shoppers to 'Give a Little Love', didn't inspire.

Also unveiled on Friday, I still haven't braved the Late Late Toy Show ad for fear it might completely tip me over the edge ahead of the scaled-back telly event later this month.

Anyway, everyone knows that "holidays are coming" only when the Coca-Cola truck lights up, the Budweiser Clydesdales canter by and a trio of siblings spill some Corn Flakes into a bowl for the man in the red suit. Until then, pass the SuperValu mince pies - and the Kleenex.

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