Tear Jerker / Advertising

Even a clip as small as 30 seconds can make you shed a tear. Here are some examples.

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Examples

  • This commercial for Knorr Sidekicks dubbed "Salty". It's supposed to be funny, but it's hard to see the humour in something so cute as a humanized salt shaker being so unwanted, especially when one knows the feeling.
  • Segata Sanshiro's final commercial for the Sega Saturn will have you weeping Manly Tears before the end of it.
  • You probably have to be a Florida alum for this effect to kick in, but the university's series of "Go Gators!" commercials bring a tear every time. Especially those last two.
    • "The Michigan Difference" (seen here and here). Seeing the Survival Flight chopper take off is particularly wrenching, knowing that they're still flying despite losing a crew (pilots, surgeons and perfusionists) on takeoff from Milwaukee two years ago.
  • The Thai Insurance ads. They usually give a glimpse of people's lives suffering through some sort of misfortune (an old woman unable to play piano anymore, three kids living in poverty) only to be lifted upward by a kind soul (the woman's daughter playing piano for her, the three kids adopted by a caring mother). The most famous is probably Unsung Hero, with Giving a close second. The late King Bhumibol was famous for small kindnesses, and there's an insurance ad dedicated to him, too. Here's an interview with the director of Thai Life's ad agency explaining how he makes the ads to portray and connect with ordinary people.
    • One more for the pile of tissues: "Silence of Love", a daughter dealing with teasing over her father being a deaf-mute and being unable to communicate with him properly. She's Driven to Suicide over it, and he risks his own life to save hers via direct blood transfusion. Made even worse with the Dead Island theme.
  • Speaking of Thai ads, this Pantene commercial is just... Wow. It's about the story of a deaf and mute girl who learns to play the violin against all odds. "You can shine." Although this overlaps with What Were They Selling Again?
  • Another Thai ad, this time for ceiling panels. Two house geckos in love are tragically separated by the male falling out of a crack in a ceiling panel. It manages to be tragic and funny at the same time.
  • Barnardo's, a British charity that works with vulnerable children, has a few depressing ads:
    • A TV commercial showed a series of vignettes from a girl's life: injecting heroin, mugging someone to feed her addiction, being locked up, beaten by her father, and bullied at school because she can't read. These repeat and repeat at increasingly vicious speed, ending with a statement that Barnardo's is often the only way for such kids to break the cycle of violence and abuse.
    • The Life Story Advert, where an adult is shown talking to a psychiatrist. He subtly ages down as he speaks to the audience about his childhood.
  • The Subaru "Keepsake" ads where a guy is looking at his smashed-up Subaru in a junk yard and says that it saved his life, so he takes the top of the stick shift off and drives away with sad music in the background.
  • The Missing Dog commercial: a man lost his dog and is doing everything he can to find him. After some girls find the dog and see the poster, they call the master and show him a video of the dog in their possession. Yep, all this for a cellphone commercial.
  • Those AT&T commercials with the child-like drawings. That song, the images of them falling.
    • While on the subject of AT&T, the "It Can Wait" commercials are actually really depressing. Having no music or no announcer speaking after a person tells their story relating to the commercial's topic of texting and driving doesn't really help. Which is kind of the point.
  • Continuing from the Michael Jordan example above, there's a commercial that Nike aired in the final month of Jordan's career. Remember good 'ol Mars Blackmon from the Air Jordan commercials? Cut back to almost 20 years later, Mars is on the phone with Jordan, still in shock over Jordan's retirement. It was Michael Jordan's last Air Jordan commercial, and quite possibly the last time we'd see Mars Blackmon. It manages to be heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time:
    Mars: You're gonna hang em up? You'll be playing golf? No baseball though? Arrivederci? Sayonara? Adios? Auf Wiedersehen? So long? Farewell? Goodbye? For good? Again?
    Jordan: Goodbye, Mars. (hangs up)
  • This recut of Lebron James's infamous "What should I do?" Nike commercial. It takes something that was Narmtastic and turns it into something surprisingly poignant.
  • There was a Skittles commercial that was supposed to be funny, but was just downright depressing. It involved a man who could turn anything into Skittles by touching it. But as he describes, he can't touch anyone or anything without them turning into Skittles. He couldn't touch his newborn son, he accidentally killed a guy by shaking his hand, and other depressing things.
  • A McDonald's commercial in the early 1980s about a little boy whose parents just brought home a new baby. A voice sings about the new baby, then there's a shot of family members oohing and ahhing over the baby and its big blue eyes, while ignoring the little boy. The voice then sings "Doesn't anybody remember..." and the little boy, completely dejected, looks at himself in the mirror and sadly tells his reflection "I had blue eyes first." If you ever felt like The Unfavorite, this could hit close to home.
  • Several ads for Google Chrome. If you can watch this, this and this without blubbing you are made of stronger stuff than most. And this is in ads for a web browser.
    • Here's a Google Chrome commercial with Hatsune Miku. All those dedicated fans...
  • This advert for Aviva starts out like any normal insurance commercial. Then there's a tearjerking twist near the end. The father that was talking about his family turns out to be a ghost and as soon as that fact is realized, he is no longer there.
  • A recent Hardee's commercial features a robot buying one of their hand-breaded chicken fillet sandwiches, only to realize he doesn't have a mouth, becoming depressed. The fact that the narrator expresses No Sympathy towards the robot's misery doesn't help, either. It was meant to be funny, but it just ends up becoming a Glurge-ridden piece of Cringe Comedy that becomes more depressing in hindsight. There's even an extended version where the robot destroys a room in a fit of rage.
  • Allan Gray's commercial on the legend Jimmy Dean. "...and in the year 1955, he was 24 years old."
  • This McDonald's commercial about a family slowly growing apart over the years: At first, everyone was at the table, chattering happily, with their new baby sister. Then it showed the family growing fewer, one by one, 'til only the mom and dad are left in their old age. Made even sadder by the song playing. It turned heartwarming at the end though, when the whole family is shown (with some new additions) at McDonald's for a reunion.
  • The 2012 Compare the Meerkat advertisement. It's a series that's been going on for years and the duo... Watch his lip.
    • Baby Oleg was a new character who quickly became popular, and we are shown many funny adverts of the meerkats taking him in and raising him (Which is especially heartwarming in Aleksandr's case, due to his usual portrayal in the series) and they eventually take him to Africa to show him his roots... then at Christmas 2014, this happens. We actually hear Sergei crying afterwards. Possibly one of the few genuinely shocking and sad things to happen in a series of advertising. The reactions on social networking sites go to show just how attached people have become to these meerkats.
  • The Trifexis commercial just seems silly at first glance. But being trapped in that ridiculous oversized rodent tube thing, the dog has barely any room for maneuverability, can't interact with the world around it, and worse, can't be close with its family. Makes the ending where it's let out something of a Heartwarming Moment by comparison.
  • This eBay commercial. An old tugboat that a child lost in the 1970s manages to find its way to Asia and put up for auction on eBay... and the grown child managed to come across it while web surfing.
  • "Brotherhood" by Budweiser. A man and a horse share a great kinship. It's a Tear Jerker and a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming all at once!
    • This one, however, also deserves a mention here. It was made after September 11th and aired only once on TV just to acknowledge the tragic event. It will make you cry.
    • On the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Budweiser aired another ad to, yet again, acknowledge the event. This will make you cry, especially after seeing the (then under construction) One World Trade Center.
  • An advert in the UK for Robinsons' Juice has two boys playing together outside, teasing each other about girls, drinking the orange juice and watching a film together at home. The first boy falls asleep on the couch, and the second boy takes off his shoes for him, carries him upstairs and puts him into bed. As the second boy walks out, he pauses at the door and the first boy sleepily says "Night, Dad." We see the 'second boy' at the door again, now grown-up as his Dad, as the text says at the end "It's Good To Be A Dad, It's Better To Be A Friend."
  • Every year, the Australian TAC hold a competition to direct and produce one of their commercials. This is one of them.
  • This critically acclaimed Purina commercial is this along with a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. It makes you look at your own dog and remember how great he/she is to you, even if they've never won any medals or sniffed any bombs.
  • To Michael, an ad for the Playstation 3 where numerous video game characters tell their story on how a gamer (the aforementioned Michael) helped them prove their worth and become the heroes they are. The concept alone will get you choked up, but it really turns on the waterworks once you realize that the ad was dedicated to a popular gamer who had recently died of cancer, so the characters are congratulating Michael in remembrance of him due to his recent death.
  • The Playstation 4's launch ad, Perfect Day. It's about people playing multiplayer games and having fun with one another, all while singing about their fun. You can't help but shed tears of joy when watching this.
  • Chipotle has an online advertisement for an android game of theirs called The Scarecrow. It depicts a scarecrow who works in the meat industry. The face on the cow as he closes the door is just heartbreaking.
  • This commercial for Cesar dog food features a man and his West Highland terrier who visit a grave (assumed to be his deceased wife). Not only the way the story is told in 60 seconds, but also the portrayal of the bond between man and dog, really stirs the emotions.
  • This Royal Dutch Guide Dog Foundation commercial aimed at veterans suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
  • This 9 Lives commercial where a little girl looks all over for her lost cat, Morris.
  • John Lewis makes some really sad, but happy, Christmas ads...
    • The 'Monty the Penguin' Christmas 2014 ad gets depressing halfway through. It starts with a boy and his pet penguin hanging out and playing, the best of friends. But when the boy points outside that it's snowing, his penguin doesn't care and looks genuinely sad, looking at the TV in sadness... because it's showing a pair of lovers and he doesn't have anyone to love. It doesn't help that he just stops and looks so depressed when he sees another couple. It doesn't help that the song playing has the lyrics 'Don't want to be alone' playing at that part. It ends on a fuzzy moment when the penguin receives his Christmas present - another penguin... then we cut to the boy's parents then back to them to reveal that the penguins are stuffed toys.
    • Come to think about it, John Lewis are really good at releasing and that are tear jerkers until the ending, especially around Christmas. The Christmas ad the year before, 'The Bear and the Hare' starts with the text, 'There once was an animal who had never seen Christmas'. All the other forest animals are putting up decorations and giving gifts... except the bear who has to go into hibernation, while his best friend the hare just resigns himself the fact... but leaves a Christmas present for him in his cave. When all the other animals are opening presents happily, the hare just can't enjoy the occasion without his friend. It pays off and the bear arrives just as the sun shines down on the bear. The two happily reunite for the festive holiday as we find out what the gift was - an alarm clock. 'Give someone a Christmas they'll never forget.'
    • Their 2015 Christmas commercial, "Man on the Moon". A girl looks through a telescope one night and sees that an old man is living in isolation on the moon. She tries desperately to reach him but fails, until one Christmas she is able to deliver another telescope to him via Balloonacy. He looks through the telescope and sees the girl, shedding a manly single tear of joy. I'm not crying, I'm sweating through my eyes!
  • You see a happy, inquisitive girl grow up interested in the world around her and in science - touching flowers, going through streams, collecting sea-life at the beach, making an amazing paper mache orrery for her own room, working on a rocket with her brother, only to be told "Don't get your dress dirty," "Leave that alone," "Your project is out of hand," "Let your brother do that. That's dangerous." As a teen, she sees a flyer for her school science fair... and turns to look at her reflection on the display case to reapply her lip gloss before walking away. The text comes up onto the screen: "66% of fourth grade girls say they like science and math. But only 18% of all college engineering majors are female.". Watch it here.
  • During Super Bowl XLIX, Nationwide aired an ad about how a kid is never going to get cooties, sail the world with his friend, or grow up... because he died in a horrible accident. Since most Super Bowl ads are supposed to be funny, mind-blowing or tongue-in-cheek, the ad got such a massive Internet Backdraft that "Nationwide" became a trending topic on Twitter because of it.
  • GEICO had a radio ad featuring a penny under the driver seat of a car. She says she knows she isn't worth very much, and that you could save more with a GEICO policy. The penny's child-like voice is what sells it as unintentionally heartbreaking.
    Penny: So go ahead, call GEICO. I'll be here...on the floor...
  • This commercial for the Subaru Impreza features a man taking his aging dog on a cross country trip, crossing off such items on the dog's bucket list as swimming in a hotel pool, chewing on designer shoes, and visiting an old girlfriend, all set to Willie Nelson's "I've Loved You All Over the World".
  • A German Christmas Commercial from the Supermarket "Edeka", featuring a grandpa bringing everyone together for Christmas through the means of a real tear jerker.
  • This Lenovo commercial (though more along the lines of a short film), by virtue of being pure Narm Charm.
  • This Iams commercial with Casey the Irish Setter.
  • After the Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918, Nike released this video. It starts with two young boys watching their first Sox game in 1919. As the ad continues, time passes and the two boys grow older, becoming fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers - and yet, their loyalty to the Red Sox never dies. Finally reaching into 2004 and the Sox's grand moment, the old tired men get up, mouths opened in shock. Then a familiar slogan appears: "Just Do It". Though for some it could dip into What Were They Selling Again?.
  • When the Chicago Cubs ended their own World Series dry spell in 2016, Budweiser temporarily resurrected the Cubs' late, longtime announcer Harry Caray to let him "announce" their victory in a tribute commercial. If you as a Cubs fan remember all the years of yelling at the team to "do it for Harry" after his death in 1998, this will leave you a sobbing mess.
  • Macy's produced a similar commercial to the Red Sox one involving an unlikely friendship between a young boy and a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon that continues even as the boy becomes an old man. It's much cuter than it sounds.
  • General Electric's "Ideas Are Scary" commercial. The idea-manifested as what can best be described as a dirty, bipedal English Shepard-is continuously abused by the world around him. He has no home, friends, or family. Then he is finally welcomed in by a General Electric employee with open arms as his whole life flips over for the better. And when he steps out in the very end on that stage, looking brand new, with what were once miscolored spots of fur turned into bright feathers, as people applaud him...aww, GAWD!
  • This MetLife Hong Kong ad starts out Heartwarming, with an adorable little girl who adores her supportive dad, then veers deep into Tearjerker territory: He's been working menial jobs, going without food so his daughter can eat, and struggling as a single parent while pretending everything's fine so she can have a better life. The commercial is 'narrated' as an essay the girl wrote for school and her father's face as he reads it is heartbreaking.
  • "Kwentong Jollibee Valentine's Series" in the Philippines showed three different scenarios that were based on real life stories, most of them were both Heartwarming and Tearjerking at the same time that Youtubers created their reaction videos not only nationwide, but also in the international countries and even in schools:
    • Vow takes place on a marriage ceremony where a young man narrates his time with his 'best friend', this was known to have The Reveal that the man wasn't actually the groom, and the bride was marrying someone else. Vow is a famous commercial for it's shocking twist and it's relative to the young teens who were "friend zoned" in real life.
    • Crush tackles about a college boy fell in love with a girl at first sight. The company uses their product as a method of communication between the two even at the school's homecoming and it's the series' video that features a happy ending.
    • Date is much more on family oriented. A young boy, named Joey, prepares a "dinner date" at the company's fast food chain for his mother and his late father who messaged his son via video to be his mother's Valentine date.
  • The PSA "My Heroes," which aired Halloween 2017. A family gets ready for trick-or-treating, the children choosing to go as Wonder Woman and Batman. The kids are clearly excited and happy, but the parents, especially the father, seem anxious for some reason, especially when the kids go to the first house. At the end of the video, when the children are tucked into bed, we see why: the boy chose to go as Wonder Woman, while the girl chose to go as Batman. It's a happy tearjerker, since everything went fine, the kids had a good time, and the parents are supportive of their kids' decisions, but considering how some people react to gender nonconformity, it's easy to see why the parents were scared. No parent wants their kid to be teased or bullied for expressing themselves. Also, the creators of the PSA said they made it specifically for children who may want to wear clothes meant for the other gender, but don't have supportive parents like the ones in the ad.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/TearJerker/Advertising