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The internet has melted with love for a Polish grandfather depicted in what is surely the season’s most heartwarming ad.
The YouTube ad for Poland’s online marketplace, Allegro, has been viewed across the world over 2.5 million times, spawning reactions ranging from “Real tears were shed watching this,” to “Straight destroyed me,” to “My soul is leaving my body.”
The video tells the story of an elderly — and seemingly lonely — Polish man who orders “English for Beginners” from Allegro, then dedicates himself to the task of learning the language through constant repetition of certain words and phrases.
We see him reading to his rubber duckie, labeling items in his house, and shouting “I love you, you’re perfect” while riding a local bus — to the bemusement of his fellow passengers.
After a certain time, the old man orders a suitcase. He's ready.
He travels to London, where he rides a black cab through dreary English weather, nervously clutching his suitcase and going over the phrases in his head.
So who is he doing all this for?
At the end of the clip, all is revealed. He is meeting his English-speaking granddaughter for the very first time.
“Hi. I am your Grandpa,” he tells the little girl.
“The story we are telling is all-purpose and can be easily understood by any other nation or community who can easily link the happy ending of a smile and tears of emotion to their daily human experience," a spokesperson for Allegro told BuzzFeed.
But it’s not just a holiday story, said Adweek. “It's about young people leaving home for faraway lands, and the world growing smaller and more intimate, the fruit of diverse families. It's about the role English plays in unifying cultures whose differences in language may feel insurmountable.”
However, not everyone found the ad charming. “I am a bit annoyed that the son didn't pick him up from the airport,” wrote one Facebook user.