Titled “Cuisine Exchange,” the US grocery store released an animated commercial on 8 November in honour of the festive season. The characters, known as “Krojis,” crafted by the New York-based advertisement agency adam&eveDDB, get ready to host an exchange student from Mexico. Their carefully developed design and adorable movement took hold of viewers’ hearts, leaving them with that same fuzzy feeling one often gets around this time of year.
Placed under a recording of “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran, the one-minute and 14-second-long video is meant to show how culturally significant dishes often evoke a sense of home. To start, a couple without any children decide to participate in a student exchange program, opening their home to a young girl from Mexico named Valentina.
Upon her arrival, Valentina begins to feel homesick. In an effort to make her feel comfortable, the sweet couple uses their groceries from Kroger to make the traditional Mexican stew pozole. The rest of the video is imagined through a montage of the couple with Valentina eating tamales, and drinking hot chocolate, as well as other students they subsequently take over from around the world. One image shows them eating soba noodles with an exchange student from Japan, while another features an Italian student cooking panettone.
Of course, every dish highlighted in the heartwarming film is enjoyed by families around the world during the holiday season.
Fans were deeply moved by the sentiments of the commercial, adding their own experience of finding a sense of home in different countries and serving comforting meals as hosts to international individuals.
“I’m crying so hard I can hardly type this. I am not exaggerating when I say that I’ve had hundreds of exchange students in my home,” one woman candidly admitted, while another said: “This hits home. We had seven exchange students between when I was five and 19. Two of them stayed for an extra year and one of them even went to a college two hours away. I learned so much about them and their cultures.”
“Beautiful sentiment,” another viewer added.
One woman noted: “Damn, y’all didn’t have to make me cry! I haven’t cried over a commercial like this since I was pregnant 14 years ago!”
“A friend saw this and sent it my way, saying it reminded them of our family. I’m bawling. It is us almost spot on! We are a biracial family (redheaded mom even!) with eight international students over a 13-year period,” another viewer proclaimed.
“Getting misty-eyed over a promotion vignette from a grocery store,” a touched YouTuber exclaimed.
Speaking to Today, Kroger’s head of marketing, Tom Duncan, reflected on the flood of emotion that erupted after the company released the video. “We’re delighted by all the positive reactions to our holiday message. It’s a heartfelt story,” he told the outlet.
“We cried happy tears bringing it to life. And we’re so grateful to see the same reactions from all our customers and the internet at large,” Duncan continued.
Kroger’s commercial will be available on cable television in a 30-second or 60-second medium until 31 December. However, the full-length ad is available on the company’s YouTube channel and website.
The Independent has contacted Kroger for comment.