'Ballymena bear' letting two new faces share ad spotlight
A sequel to the heart-warming TV advert for Christmas shopping in Ballymena has been viewed almost 70,000 times on Facebook since it was launched on Thursday.
In recent years the Co Antrim town has seen its promotional adverts starring a ragged teddy rival the best produced by retailers such as John Lewis, who lavish millions on their seasonal productions.
It is understood the Ballymena ad was made for a low five-figure sum - although judging by the response to the latest one they appear to have captured the magic of Christmas for a tiny fraction of the sums spent by the big companies.
It was made by Grafter's Media, who made the town's two previous ads, starring Bertie the Ballymena Bear. This year Bertie plays a cameo, to make way for the The Martian and the Pigeon, as they go off of an epic adventure that spans from Mars to Ballymena town centre.
"Ballymena has quickly become renowned for its Christmas celebrations each year and the annual Christmas advert is a huge part of that, as it is the official starting point for the festive season in Ballymena," said the town's business improvement district manager Alison Moore.