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Pub Spends Only £700 To Highlight Loneliness And Becomes “This Year’s Best Christmas Ad”
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Pub Spends Only £700 To Highlight Loneliness And Becomes “This Year’s Best Christmas Ad”

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The jolly spirit of Christmas is upon us, with shops putting out their most festive products on display, and naturally, TV adverts themed around the Holidays flooding our screens.

However, one pub has really pulled at the viewers’ heartstrings with an ad that calls attention to the topic of loneliness during the Christmas period.

Taking to its official Instagram account, Northern Irish pub Charlie’s Bar posted the endorsement as a reel which has been viewed 2.2 million times since its publication on Friday (November 24).

Northern Irish pub Charlie’s Bar came out with its first-ever Christmas ad, highlighting the issue of loneliness during the holidays, and leaving us all in tears as a result

Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

In the advert, an elderly man is seen leaving his home holding a bunch of flowers.

He is subsequently shown making his way to a graveyard before taking his hat off and putting the bouquet down next to what is presumed to be his former partner.

In the ad, a man is seen putting flowers on the tombstone of what is presumed to be his former partner

Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

The lonely man pursues his walks and marches in the direction of the pub, located in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.

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There, the grieving bloke meets a young couple and their dog at the front door, who in turn kindly hold the door for the man as he enters the pub.

The protagonist is further seen being handed a pint of Guinness by a smiling barman while taking his seat alone in front of a fireplace.

Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

After being ignored by several people while walking along the street, he enters the bar

Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

Unbeknownst to the lonesome widower, the couple’s dog walks over to join the man, who is then also joined by the young couple themselves.

The bittersweet segment ends with a quote from Irish poet WB Yeats which states: “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t met yet.”

The man is seen being handed a pint of Guinness by a smiling barman 

Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

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Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

Meanwhile, Charlie’s Bar wrote in its caption: “Christmas can be such a joyful time for some and painfully hard for others.

“One thing’s for sure – you’ll always receive a warm welcome when you walk through our doors.

“We will be open on Christmas Day, so if you are alone this festive season, drop in for a chat.”

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Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

The touching advert sparked many emotional responses, with a person even comparing it to the famous John Lewis Christmas ads: “This will give the John Lewis ad a run for its money.”

Earlier this month, John Lewis released its Christmas commercial titled Snapper, The Perfect Tree, narrating the adorable story of a young boy and his Venus flytrap.

“This Christmas ad for a pub in Enniskillen is better than anything John Lewis has ever put out,” another person commented on the pub’s advert.

A separate individual wrote: “This is unreal, not often an ad makes me cry.”

Finally, the lonesome widower is joined by a couple’s dog, and the young couple themselves

Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

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Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

An additional Instagram user penned: “One of the things we love so much about Fermanagh is the community, this is a good reminder that for many people the festive period can be very lonely, reach out the hand of friendship if you can.”

No hard feelings for John Lewis, though, as the ad even prompted a reaction from the retailer itself, as the department store’s official TikTok account commented on the pub’s video which had also been published on the social media platform: “We’re not crying, you are. Merry Christmas.”

“Christmas can be such a joyful time for some and painfully hard for others,” Charlie’s Bar wrote

Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

Aoife Teague, the producer behind the viral clip, revealed that she had been surprised by the number of views and praise her creation had received.

She told News Talk: “I couldn’t honestly believe it.

“When we posted it on Friday, it started going well, and the next thing my phone just blew up and it honestly hasn’t stopped since.” 

Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

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Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

Aoife described loneliness as a “very sensitive topic” and said she hoped it would remind people to think of others during the festive season, the website reported.

She further explained: “We always think about Christmas and the magical time that it is.

“But we do tend to forget that there are people there who suffer a lot at Christmas and I think it was a very important reminder to just look out for people around Christmas time.

“I know it is magical and it is brilliant and we have lots of fun but there are people there that just don’t find it that special a time and find it really tough.”

“We will be open on Christmas Day, so if you are alone this festive season, drop in for a chat,” the pub announced

An analysis published in 2018 by Age UK found that 1.7 million older people in England can go for a month without meeting up with a friend and that 300,000 over 65 have not even had a conversation with family or friends over the same period.

The research also found that half a million older people across the UK were expecting to feel lonely for Christmas, of whom 4 in 5 (79%) have not sought any help for this. 

For half of those (52%), loneliness has become a “normal” part of life.

Una Burns, the manager at Charlie’s, came up with the idea after seeing similar situations unfold in her bar

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Image credits: belfastlive

Charlie’s Bar had reportedly never made a Christmas ad before, and its owner, Úna Catherine Burns, did not expect her first attempt to be so successful. 

Aoife said: “She just thought now is maybe the opportunity to just [shine] a wee bit of light on them sort of people.

“There was nothing behind it other than to make a nice Christmas ad, it just happened to blow up.”

Image credits: charliesbarenniskillen

We often say “less is more”, and this couldn’t be truer for Charlie’s Bar, as its advert quickly became a viral sensation on a very low budget.

According to The Guardian, the commercial was made for £700 on an iPhone, and it starred Martin McManus, a 73-year-old member of an amateur theatre group, along with local couple Meagan Daley and Alex Middlemass and their dog Missy.

As a result, Charlie’s Bar has become this year’s best Christmas ad, the publication stated.

Meanwhile, the Advertising Association and World Advertising Research Centre anticipated that advertisers were going to spend a record £9.5bn during this Christmas season.

The advertising association had previously stated that their latest prediction represents a 4.8% increase from last year’s record spend of £9bn.

Moreover, research revealed that nearly half (48%) of all adults credit Christmas ads with helping to spark gift ideas, while 70% of young adults (25-34) find Christmas ads to be the ultimate festive mood booster.

A lot of viewers felt very emotional about the ad

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sebedie avatar
Seb Benson
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Listen, I'm not going to lie or tell any half-truths here... I can honestly say, without doubt that someone, somewhere near me is........... chopping some onions ;)

joshuadavid avatar
Joshua David
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

45 year old man. Crying so hard right now. Thinking of my dad who died alone in 2010. Oh how we regret so much and how much, even after all the alcoholism and abuse, I still find grace for him.

happinessbolton avatar
Happenstance
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a beautiful reminder for me today, finding grace/ forgiveness. Sounds like a very flawed man who did at least one good thing in having a son like you.

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wandacardenas avatar
Mia C
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh no. I'm in tears. I spend holidays alone and can tell you i think often about those with families having a perfect time.

hannahtaylor_2 avatar
DarkViolet
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same here. My family doesn't celebrate Christmas, so I mostly do it alone. Being forgotten during the holidays hurts like hell.

Load More Replies...
Load More Comments
sebedie avatar
Seb Benson
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Listen, I'm not going to lie or tell any half-truths here... I can honestly say, without doubt that someone, somewhere near me is........... chopping some onions ;)

joshuadavid avatar
Joshua David
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

45 year old man. Crying so hard right now. Thinking of my dad who died alone in 2010. Oh how we regret so much and how much, even after all the alcoholism and abuse, I still find grace for him.

happinessbolton avatar
Happenstance
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What a beautiful reminder for me today, finding grace/ forgiveness. Sounds like a very flawed man who did at least one good thing in having a son like you.

Load More Replies...
wandacardenas avatar
Mia C
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh no. I'm in tears. I spend holidays alone and can tell you i think often about those with families having a perfect time.

hannahtaylor_2 avatar
DarkViolet
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Same here. My family doesn't celebrate Christmas, so I mostly do it alone. Being forgotten during the holidays hurts like hell.

Load More Replies...
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