Christmas commercials have become a staple of the holiday season, often telling exciting stories.
But one small bar in Northern Ireland, Charlie’s Bar, eclipsed them all this year by creating a touching ad that became so popular that social media users kept sharing their excitement over the “beautiful message” and “heartfelt” storyline. dir.bg.
In the video posted on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, an elderly man is seen laying flowers on his wife’s grave before walking the streets of the small town of Enniskillen and trying to greet strangers who ignore him.
He enters a bar where he sits alone until a friendly little dog approaches him, followed by his young owners, and they all enjoy a celebratory drink together.
The video, which is just over two minutes long, ends with a quote often attributed to the poet William Butler Yeats: “There are no strangers here, only friends you have not yet met.”
“There’s so much loneliness at Christmas … and that’s why the story was about kindness,” Aoife Teague, who shot the commercial, told CNN.
“It’s the love and the reminder and the realization that there are people who are alone at Christmas, those who don’t find it a magical time of year because they’re lonely… It’s about being a friend, and the dog represents a person taking the first step to go talk to someone, and the impact that such a seemingly small gesture can have on more than just that particular day.”
Charlie’s Bar has been serving the people of Enniskillen, a small town in Northern Ireland, about 128km south-west of the capital Belfast, since 1944 and has been owned by the same family all that time.
The restaurant’s manager, Oona Burns, worked closely with Teague to create the ad. Teague says Burns and a friend of hers came up with the plot after meeting a few lonely customers who came to the bar looking for company.
The ‘four stars’ of the ad are local residents, says Teague, explaining that ‘the couple are friends of Una’s who just happen to have a lovely dog - Missy’, and Martin McManus, who plays the lonely old man, plays at the local theater .
In just a matter of hours, the video has more than 1.2 million views on TikTok alone, as well as more than 147,000 likes on Facebook – a reaction that Teague says has “still not sunk in”.
She added that the video’s impact extended beyond social media, with people from all over the world, including Canada, the United States and Germany, sending messages “saying that they either related to the video or that it meant a lot to them.” .
“Strangers have been ringing the bar and donating money for someone who can come to the bar this Christmas alone to buy them a drink or even come over and offer a date and a chat,” she said.
“I think that video really affected people in a way that we hoped, but also in a way that we never imagined.”
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