“A milestone”: Czech Railways scores on social media with same-sex couple ad

A new advertisement released by Czech Railways this week has been a hit on Czech social media. Unusually for a mainstream ad in this country, it depicts a lesbian couple – and could be seen as a dig at authoritarian Hungary.

The freshly released 30-second video advertisement from Czech Railways, Czechia’s main rail operator, depicts a middle-aged couple and their daughter bound for Hungary by train – and planning to meet the daughter’s new partner for the first time on board.

Photo illustrative: Wokandapix,  Pixabay,  Pixabay License

The father (played by popular actor Ivan Trojan) expects to see a young man but instead is introduced to a young woman. Without missing a beat he opens his arms to her and all four continue their journey together happily.

The humorous and charming advert for Czech Railways’ international services has proven a hit on social media, racking up many hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, as well as hundreds of shares.

Some commentators have highlighted the fact that the train in the ad is bound for the relatively authoritarian state of Hungary, which is currently in hot water with the EU over anti-LGBT legislation.

The campaign has been welcomed by the marriage equality group Jsme fér (We Are Fair). Filip Milde is its spokesperson.

“The Jsme fér initiative perceives the launch of an advertisement with a lesbian couple by a national carrier, which is 100 percent owned by our state, as a major milestone.”

Milde says the ad reflects Czech society’s acceptance and respect for LGBT people, a situation that is not matched in some other countries in the region.

“Unfortunately, something like this is not realistic for our neighbours in Poland and Hungary, but also in Slovakia. Perhaps that is also why Hungary is the destination of the family from the ad.”

The clip was produced for Czech Railways by the agency Havas Prague and is one of a series featuring actor Ivan Trojan.