Unintended Audiences

November 13, 2019 by Robert (Bob) W. Jones

What If You Wrote For Unintended Audiences?

Germany’s largest supermarket corporation, Edeka, published a YouTube ad for Christmas on November 28, 2015. Fifty-six million views later, Edeka reached not only their intended audience, but also an unintended audience. I am one of them. Are you?

The video inspired me to think about creative ways to stand out in my writing and speaking at Christmastime.

Time To Come Home portrays a grandfather home alone Christmas after Christmas because his adult children are always too busy to visit. Each child’s reaction is shown as they receive notice of their father’s funeral. Devastated, and regret-filled they all return home. Upon entering the house they are confused to see a festive Christmas banquet set on the dining room table. Suddenly, the grandfather walks into the room and asks, “How else could I have brought you all together?”

Edeka’s intended audience were the Germans and Danish, especially those who are their customers. The commercial suggests that at the heart of every Christmas celebration, there is Edeka.

How are you positioning your Christmas posts, articles or stories? Are you writing solely for believers? People who are your customers? Is there an unintended audience your work could influence this season? What if you wrote for people who were like you before you believed? What if you could connect with readers because of how you pranked them? Or crafted your content in an atypical way for a writer who is a Christian?

I’m not suggesting you deny the Virgin birth or the deity of Jesus. On the other hand, what about writing in a way that draws readers in without using typical Christmas terms or subjects. What about writing for irreligious readers?

3 Writing Prompts

1. Imagine the Canadian government passed legislation that banned Christmas. Write a letter to convince the Prime Minister why Christmas should not be banned.

2. You are given the power to give every child in the world one gift at Christmas. What would you choose?

3. Create a new holiday tradition for your family. Write about what you would do and why it is important.


Edeka’s unintended audience were the millions of international viewers when the video went viral. Notably, Time To Come Home pulls at the heartstrings by framing the father’s children as workaholics who cannot find time for him. Yet, it also records their purely happy reactions that their father is alive. Use of the song, “Dad” by Neele Ternes, creates a sombre tone. Ironically the tone makes the ad stand out from other festive ads during the highly competitive Christmas season. Genius.

Changing the tone of your writing could invite an unintended audience that makes your work go viral.

And that would be a merry Christmas for all.

About this Contributor

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Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.
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