Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 


You try running a supermarket.

It's not exactly easy to entice people with anything but prices or your deeply sincere commitment to the organic cause.

When it comes to Christmas, people have so much to buy, so little time to think that they might rush into the nearest place and buy everything in one swoop of the trolley.

So how do you make your brand interesting? Some retailers love to tell a sweet Christmas story.

And then there's EDEKA. The largest German supermarket chain's story begins nicely enough.

A granddad begins to learn through various technological means that his family won't be joining him for Christmas. Well, people have busy lives and supermarkets are crowded this time of year.

So he eats alone. Indeed, he's eaten alone for at least the last three Christmases.

Then he's seen writing a note. Soon it transpires that his family members are sad.

Granddad's dead, you see.

And so they travel in from various parts of the world for the funeral.

Suddenly, granddad appears. Yes, alive. Does he just pop out of the coffin? No, he comes out of the kitchen.

He's faked his own death. "How else could I have brought you all together?" he says.

This super little marketing story has already been viewed 30 million times on YouTube. It has incited tears as well as invective. What else do you expect of YouTube?

Here's why this ad is quite brilliant.

It doesn't merely remind you of the importance and emotional power of family. It doesn't just play on essences such as guilt, love and the true vacuousness of work.

It taps into a personal emotion that surely everyone has had and not everyone would admit to: What would be the reaction if I died?

Would anyone care? Would anyone be sad? Or would they just all scramble after my money and possessions?

What would be your answer?