Why a Christmas drinks advert has all of Spain sobbing

Christmas advertising these days is all about creating the ultimate tear-jerker, and those behind a Galician liqueur commercial have managed to nail it with a campaign that sends a powerful message about what’s important in life.

Why a Christmas drinks advert has all of Spain sobbing
Screengrab from the advertisement by Ruavieja.

What if we could calculate exactly how much time we had left to spend with the people we love? Would we put down our mobile phones, delay that instagram post, log-off Facebook or lay off binge-watching our favourite series? Would we actually make a determined effort to see more of each other?

These are the questions raised in the short film by Ruavieja, which created a tool to estimate how much time we have left to spend with our nearest and dearest based on an algorithm they developed on data and statistical information from respected sources.

Using data from Spain’s national statistics agency (INE), the IAB, and studies such as AEVI’s videogame industry yearbook and Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2018 for KPCB, the tool comes up with the years, days, and hours, we have left to spend quality time together.

The algorithm uses variables such as life expectancy according to gender and place of birth, type of relationship, whether the individuals in question usually holiday together and other factors, to ensure that the resulting figure is as accurate as possible.

And takes into account how far they live from each other and how often they meet up.

Watch the film with English subtitles: 

The film shows different couples; either life-long friends, relatives or partners chatting about how much they mean to each other. it then asks them if they would like to know how much time they can realistically expect to spend with each other in the future.

As the figure flashes up on screen, that’s when the tears start.

Rafael Santandreu, a psychologist who worked on the project: “People say that their loved ones matter the most, but the way they divide their time doesn't bear that out. This is because of how the brain works: we are programmed to avoid thinking about the time left to us to live.”

The campaign went viral after launching earlier this week and has already clocked up close to 8 million views on Youtube and made #TenemosQueVernosMas – #Wehavetoseemoreofeachother –  a trending hashtag on Twitter. 

Ruavieja, whose company ethos is to make people spend quality time together – and presumably drink their liqueurs while they do so – has made the calculator available to all: 

You can visit the website here if you want to know how much time you have left with those you love.

But have the tissues handy.


Did Spain make Coca-Cola before the US?

Could Kola-Coca, the drink produced in a small Valencian village, have been the inspiration for the world-famous soft drink, Coca-Cola?

Did Spain make Coca-Cola before the US?

Coca-Cola, or coke as it is often referred to, has become one of the most popular drinks around the world since it was invented in 1886 in the United States. It has also become the drink most synonymous with American culture and the secret formula has been patented there too. 

Despite this, in the small town of Aielo de Malferit almost 140 years ago, three partners, Enrique Ortiz, Ricardo Sanz and Bautista Aparici, set up a distillery, which later went on to supply drinks to Queen María Cristina, who was married to King Alfonso XII, and the rest of the royal household. 

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Among the drinks that they created, the most popular by far was the ‘Jarabe Superior de Kola-Coca‘. It was made from kola nuts and coca leaves from Peru, and was dubbed by locals as ‘Heavenly Anise’.

The drink became so successful and popular that in 1885, one of the three founders, Bautista Aparici, travelled to the US to promote it and present the product to consumers in Philadelphia. 

He then returned to Spain, but a year later in 1886 in Atlanta, the pharmacist John Stith Pemberton invented the famous Coca-Cola. Sound familiar?

Whether this was a coincidence or not is open to interpretation, but what is even more interesting, other than the similar name, is that the drink contained basically the same ingredients as the Spanish Kola-Coca too. 

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When it was first created, the basic ingredients of Coca-Cola were just coca leaves, cola nuts and soda water, the same recipe that was made in Aielo in Valencia, except, they used cold water from the region, instead of soda water.

While Coca-Cola went from strength to strength and finally achieved world domination, the distillery in Valencia went on to produce other drinks. 

Then in the mid-1950s, Kola-Coca disappeared from sale when it is said, that representatives from the Coca-Cola company visited the Aielo factory to buy the patent for the ‘heavenly anise’ drink. 

Although there is no material evidence of this patent ever exchanging hands, it’s interesting to think the inspiration for this most American of drinks could have originated in a small village in Spain.