Behind The Viral Holiday Ad That'll Make You Want To Book A Flight Home

There's a reason this emotional video has racked up more than 12 million views.

A tear-jerker holiday ad that’s racked up more than 12 million views on YouTube is reminding people just how short life is.

Pernod Ricard liqueur brand Ruavieja and advertising agency Leo Burnett Madrid teamed up for an ad campaign titled “Tenemos Que Vernos Más,” or “We Have to See More of Each Other.” The 4 1/2-minute Spanish-language video, which is also offered with English subtitles, stresses the value of in-person interactions in a world often interrupted by technology.

In the ad, an off-camera interviewer talks to people in various relationships — friends who met when they were kids, two sisters, and a mother and son, among others — about how often they see each other in person. The interviewer then uses an algorithm based on the time the people said they spend together and factors like age and life expectancy to loosely predict how many more days the loved ones are likely to spend together.

Since its release in November, the original version of the ad has been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube and has racked up even more views on Facebook. The creators of the ad have since released a calculator online in Spanish and in English so curious viewers can roughly predict how much time they have remaining to spend with certain friends and family.

The campaign’s algorithm and the statistics featured throughout the ad are based on data from the National Institute of Statistics in Spain, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and various industry studies on technology usage.

Juan García-Escudero, chief creative officer of Leo Burnett Madrid, told HuffPost that since the ad went viral, he’s been asked several times whether the campaign is anti-technology. He clarified that technology has been incredibly beneficial when it comes to how people work and interact day-to-day and how people communicate even while thousands of miles apart.

“Of course technology has played a huge role in bringing us closer together,” he said. “People who are far apart could not be in touch otherwise. The thing that I think is happening is it’s becoming a substitute. That’s the real issue. In the past, you had no real option [but to see people in person], but now it’s somebody’s birthday and you just write a small message and you feel good about yourself. That kind of substitute for a real connection ... that’s what’s a bit damaging.”

García-Escudero said that since the beginning of his work on the campaign, he’s paid more attention to the time he spends with people. He described the project and the ability it helps give people to estimate their time left together as “a mirror.”

“That’s what it does,” he said. “It puts you in front of your own reality.”