Polish online retailer’s Christmas tearjerker ad gets 11 million YouTube views in two weeks

Lucy Handley, special to CNBC

An ad from Polish online retailer Allegro has become a YouTube smash and has had widespread media coverage since it was posted on November 28.

"Czego szukasz w Święta?" or "English for beginners," features an elderly Polish man ordering language books online, repeating English phrases to his dog and using Post-It notes to learn vocabulary in a three-minute commercial that has had more than 11 million views on YouTube in two weeks.

The tearjerker continues with him ordering a suitcase online and travelling to the U.K. for Christmas, repeating the phrase: "Hi, I am…" while on a bus.

Polish retailer Allegro sponsors cycling campaign Kreckilometry
Kreckilometry | Allegro

When he arrives at his son's home, he's greeted by a little girl who approaches shyly, and we learn why he's been learning English. "Hi, I am your Grandpa," he says, and there's not a dry eye in the house.

The ad could be on its way to eclipsing the 22.5 million views that U.K. retailer John Lewis has had for Christmas ad "Buster the boxer," since it was posted on November 9.

This compares with Coca-Cola's "Message in a Coca-Cola bottle" ad, which features a surprise Christmas guest and has been watched nearly 33,000 times, and a series of holiday ads by Walmart, the most watched of which features singer Patti LaBelle delivering sweet potato pie, with more than 1.8 million views.

Allegro was founded by Dutch entrepreneur Arjan Bakker in 1999 as an online auction platform, and claims to have more than 20 million registered customers, with 85 percent of goods now sold at a fixed price. It also runs a German site,, and has 1,300 staff in five cities in Poland.

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