If you've not already wasted all of your capitalist tears on Apple's sentimental sob-fest of a commercial, worry not. Stella Artois has got you covered four times over.
Traditionally the yeast-n-hops industry doesn't dive headfirst into heartfelt holiday commercials. Beer commercials in general tend to avoid the emotional appeal; off the top of my head, the only recent beer ad that has elicited any serious emotion was Budweiser's 2013 Superbowl spot, which features an all-American dude, his beloved Clydesdale, and Stevie Goddamn Nicks.
Gah. This warm fuzzy, however, is not a holiday-inspired warm fuzzy, which is an entirely different ballgame and traditionally not one that lends itself to the yeast-n-hops industry. Until now. Enter Stella Artois's (a bad beer, it must be said) high-concept "Give Beautifully" campaign, in which they take props from a commercial and make them into gifts.
Each commercial opens with the same quickie explainer:
If, like me, you're a total sap with an embarrassing lack of emotional control, you've already got that pre-cry feeling in your chest, a mild clenching that suggests you are about to feel some stuff.
The "Give Beautifully" campaign consists of four commercials; each involves someone surprising their partner or friend with a thoughtful gift (which happens to come from the set of a Stella commercial). As the Independent confirmed, the stories are real—gift-givers answered a random ad posted by a production company and pitched their gift idea. The chosen few found themselves in the position to give their nearest and dearest some major gifts (while also playing a starring role in some seriously sappy beer commercials).
Here are the results, from least to most sob-inducing. Please join me in watching them with a total mental erasure of the product at hand.
"It never snows in Buenos Aires. But one day in 2007, it did and that was the day of Florencia and Pablo's first date. They've been inseparable ever since. For their wedding anniversary, Florencia wants to recreate the magic of the couple's first date. See how she surprises her husband and the people of Buenos Aires with a rare, beautiful gift."
Florencia says that if he could, Pablo would live somewhere where it snowed all the time (because poor Pablo doesn't know any better), but Pablo doesn't seem too overwhelmed with emotion by this particular gesture. Florencia should've gotten him a FitBit like he really wanted. But then all of their friends show up, Stellas in hand, and suddenly the joy of giving is upon us.
This last part with the friends and the smiles and the Stellas will happen in every one of these commercials because, don't forget, these true stories are all in the name of fermented yeast.
"Rachel moved to Nashville, Tenn., to follow her dream of being a documentary filmmaker. She makes beautiful films highlighting local artists and members of her community. As she strives to grow as a storyteller, she has been saving up for a camera that will improve her craft. This year, her best friend Emily wants to give Rachel a gift to help her realize her ambitions."
If you've ever moved to a place where you don't really know a soul, this one might speak to you a little, and Rachel's reaction to her gift is pretty great. But in order to get the pre-cry feeling, I had to think of Rachel and Emily as long-distance lovers who could only be reunited by the spirit of Christmas (and beer).
"Maeve moved from Dublin to London so she could be with her boyfriend, Brendan. She was forced to leave behind her beloved piano as it was way too big to move. A passionate pianist, Maeve hasn't played since. This holiday season, see the beautiful surprise Brendan plans for her."
Maybe it's because, like Maeve, I had to move to another city to be with my partner, but this one got me. Or maybe it's because a piano is such a major gift. Or maybe it's because I'm a sucker for Irish accents and lots of Christmas lights. Our own Erin Ryan, however, had a different take: "Surprise! You now are incapable of moving out of your apartment without professional help!"
"Parson Landing is a Christmas tree farm just outside of Portland, OR. Each year, people bring the farm's trees home and decorate them in lights. But one tree stands as others are cut, never going anywhere: a 100-year-old oak. Every year owner Jeff dreams about seeing his oak tree draped in lights, glowing against the Oregon sunset. See how Jaimee, Jeff's wife, gives him a special gift this season."
Even Jezebel's resident emotional robots got teary at this one, so prepare yourself accordingly. Maybe leave your desk and watch in the bathroom.
JEFF IS CRYING. Over tree lights. And now you are too.
Look at that face. Sheer happiness. Oh god, Stella Artois, stop. Just stop it. Fuck you, I don't even like your beer, it is gross. But Jeff, you brought us Jeff! I hate you, Stella, but I love you, Jeff.