Charlie’s Bar, Fermanagh, released an ad on social media just two days ago – and it’s racked up more than 65,000 likes and more than half a million views on TikTok, along with more than six million views on X (formerly Twitter).
And, according to reports, the Enniskillen bar, which describes itself as “traditional, Irish, family run”, did it all with just £700 and an iPhone.
The two-minute ad starts with an elderly man, played by Fermanagh local Martin McManus, paying his respects to a deceased loved one.
He lays a bouquet of flowers at a grave while shaking his head remorsefully as sad music (Birdy’s People Help The People) plays.
The main character then starts to wander around the town and greet people, only to be ignored repeatedly.
Eventually, he ends up Charlie’s Bar, where the smiling barman serves him a Guinness – and to his delight, an Irish terrier dog (named Missy) comes to greet him.
This leads Missy’s two owners to come and sit with the man, where they introduce themselves, and the elderly man grins happily.
The two-minute ad closes with a quote from WB Yeats: “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met.”
You can watch the ad here:
Even John Lewis left a comment on the TikTok video, saying: “We’re not crying, you are.”
Over on Instagram, the bar added further context in its caption: “Christmas can be such a joyful time for some and painfully hard for others. One things 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 💞”
The manager of the bar, Una Burns, told PA news agency she felt “completely overwhelmed” by the response.
Burns also told the BBC: ”There were so many headlines yesterday saying we’d blown John Lewis out of the water.
“For us to be even in the same headline as John Lewis is completely overwhelming.”