John and Joanna Griffin and their daughters Jennifer and Emma at the Seven Sisters Bar, Kildimo watching the new An Post advert on TV featuring their daughter Alison in Vietnam Picture: Dave Gaynor
A LIMERICK family has received a “special Christmas message” all the way from Vietnam, via the wonders of television.
The Griffin family, who own the Seven Sisters Bar in Kildimo, were facing Christmas without one of their loved ones with daughter Alison over 10,000km away in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam.
However, thanks to An Post and a new television ad that will also run on social media, the family has been brought closer together this festive season.
The Limerick Leader visited the Seven Sisters last week to witness a Christmas miracle as Alison, who is the star of the new advertising campaign for An Post, took the chance to send a surprise message home.
“This is a special Christmas message to all my family from Vietnam. Thank you so much for the care package. To Mom, Dad, Jennifer and Emma, I miss you loads. Merry Christmas all the way from Vietnam,” said Alison to audible gasps from her family as the ad played.
The family were shocked to see their daughter on the TV but Alison wanted to make sure they knew she was thinking about them this Christmas.
“It was a lovely message to get from her. This was the nicest surprise to get, it really was. It just brings us closer together,” said Joanna Griffin, Alison’s mother.
“It was great to see her, it was a great surprise. It makes you feel a bit lonesome, that she won’t be here, but it’s great to see her doing well,” added her father John Griffin.
Also watching on in the pub on Tuesday were five of Alison’s aunts and a couple of interested locals, who watched the action unfold.
Alison’s sister Jennifer was the only one who knew the surprise ad was coming and she found it extremely difficult to keep the secret to herself.
“It was nerve-wracking,” she explained.
“We are a big family, we tell each other everything, so it was hard to keep the secret for so long,” said Jennifer.
All of the family contributed to sending Alison a care package, which was sent under the guise that it would be brought over by a friend. Alison then opened the package in the ad.
The care package included a jersey from Kildimo, a lot of Limerick stuff, “because she missed the All-Ireland,” Alison’s sister said and even a pair of Elmo pyjamas.
Limerick man Keith Lawler who works with the advertising agency JWTFolk was the brains behind the concept for the ad and was there when it was being shot.
Speaking to the Leader, he described Alison’s reaction to opening the package from home.
“It was exactly what you see on the TV. It surprised her emotionally. She was over the moon,” said Keith.