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Did that viral Polish Christmas ad ‘straightwash’ a same-sex couple?

Nick Duffy December 8, 2016

An ad featuring a Polish man learning English is going viral around the world – but it might be more familiar than you think.

Polish online auction website Allegro’s Christmas ad has racked up tens of millions of views and shares on Facebook and YouTube.

It features an elderly man ordering an ‘English for Beginners’ book, and follows him through his daily life as he practices everywhere – even labelling all his possessions as he slowly picks up the language.

He practices on the bus…

And in the kitchen….

Initially it’s unclear why he’s learning English, but the end of the ad takes a surprise turn, as he is shown arriving at a house in London.

The man introduces himself to a little girl in English, with the words “Hi, I’m your grandpa.”

Heartwarming, right?

But we couldn’t shake off the feeling of déjà vu – and then when we realised why.

We’ve seen it before.

The clip bears an overwhelming similarity to an ad released last year in the US by Wells Fargo.


Instead of an elderly man, the Wells Fargo clip featured two women who were learning to sign.

The ad follows them through their daily life as they slowly learn sign language, practising everywhere they go.

They practice on the bus…

And in the kitchen…

Initially it’s unclear why they’re learning sign language, but the end of the ad takes a surprise turn – as they are shown in an adoption centre.

They introduce themselves to a little girl in sign language, with the words “Hello beautiful, we’re going to be your new mommies”.

The Allegro ad bears a near-identical plot to the Wells Fargo spot – just without the same-sex couple or disability.

Wells Fargo’s ad was praised for its heartwarming message and diversity at the time, but didn’t go as super-viral as the Polish clip.

More: ad, adoption, deaf, Europe, Gay, Poland, Poland, Television, viral

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