The German federal government released the 1.35-minute video online on Saturday and called it “#specialheroes — Together against corona.”
A Twitter user has since posted an English translated version of the ad.
The German Govt's latest Corona advert – now subtitled in English. Quite good. pic.twitter.com/nbRZIm9RcN
— Axel Antoni (@antoni_UK) November 14, 2020
The short video begins with an elderly man recalling his “service” to the nation in the winter of 2020, when he was 22 years old and wanted to ” party, study, get to know people, go for drinks with friends.”
As dramatic music plays underneath the narrative, he recalls how “fate had different plans for us.”
“So we mustered all our courage and did what was expected of us, the only right thing. We did nothing. Absolutely nothing. Being as lazy as raccoons,'' he says in a serious tone.
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“Days and nights, we stayed on our asses at home and fought against the spread of the coronavirus,'' he continues, as his younger self is seen slumped on a sofa eating junk food.
The video ends with him saying, “Looking back, this was our fate…This is how we became heroes.”
A government message then reads: “You too can become a hero by staying at home.''
The response on twitter has been largely positive, with many praising the video for its effective use of humour to send a message.
Lots of people retweeting this ?. As a result, I was reluctant to watch it. Don't be like me: take a minute or so NOW and see how effective communication can grab you and change your mind.
— KarlOnSea (@KarlOnSea) November 15, 2020
Excellent! Such a clever way of showing young people that they're required simply to have patience & think of others.
— anthony vinicombe (@octablob) November 14, 2020
Others didn't see the funny side and were critical of the video for making light of the financial and health implications of having to stay at home during the pandemic.
There is also second version of the advert, where the man's wife talks about the experience from her point of view, with the key message “special times require special heroes.”
“Special times require special heroes”
The sequel of the German government COVID public health advert now with English subtitles. pic.twitter.com/vQeOhoAkpW
— Axel Antoni (@antoni_UK) November 15, 2020
Germany has registered a total of 790,503 coronavirus cases and 12,485 deaths, according to the Robert Koch Institute disease control centre.
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Sunday, that the country may see four to five more months of coronavirus restrictions, dashing hopes of a quick end to a partial lockdown introduced two weeks ago.
READ MORE: Is Germany set to tighten shutdown measures?