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Samsung 'Hearing Hands' Ad Goes Viral: Deaf Man Moved to Tears as Entire Neighborhood Learns Sign Language

( [email protected] ) Mar 12, 2015 06:52 PM EDT
The entire neighborhood of Bağcılar, Istanbul in Turkey learned sign language as a surprise for one young adult who is hearing-impaired.
At the end of the Samsung ad, a friend finally points out one the dozens of cameras as the entire stunt is revealed, moving Muharrem to tears. Youtube Screengrab/Samsung

A hearing impaired man named Muharrem from Bağcılar, Istanbul in Turkey was recently moved to tears after an entire neighborhood learned sign language just for him in an effort to promote the message 'A world without barriers is our dream'.

A short time ago, a team of people from Samsung and the Leo Burnett ad agency spent a month secretly setting up cameras and teaching people sign language throughout Muharrem's neighborhood. The purpose of the elaborate stunt was to create an ad titled "Hearing Hands," which was intended to promote Samsung's new video call center for the deaf.

On the day appointed for filming, Muharrem and his sister, Ozlem, went for a walk. The two engaged in regular day-to-day activities, from buying bagels to taking a cab. However, before long, Muharrem is surprised when he encounters a stranger who signed 'good morning' to him.

Throughout the ad, Muharrem shows progressive shock as every single person who interacted with him spoke in sign language, from the bagel shop employee who let him know the bagels were hot to the pedestrian who apologizes for bumping into him, to the talkative taxi driver.

As the ad concludes, an electronic advertising board is set up to communicate with him, offering him heartwarming message: 'Because a world without barriers is our dream as well.'

A friend then points Muharrem to several of the hidden cameras, bringing the young man to tears.

Since being posted to YouTube just a few weeks ago, the video has been viewed over seven million times, with many commenting on how the ad spoke to them on a personal level.

[I don't care] that this is an ad...it's seriously awesome. And if it's the production of an ad that brings out humanity in a community and raises awareness for those who often face difficulty on account of "disabilities", then that's fantastic," wrote one YouTube user.

"As a deaf woman, I was moved to tears by this incredible ad. Thank you, Samsung, for bringing awareness to an issue most people are uncomfortable discussing. Thank you for bringing to the world's attention the reality that the deaf community cannot communicate easily with the rest of the world," wrote another commenter.

"I can't believe how beautiful this is. It brought tears to my eyes. Major props and much respect to Samsung for doing this," added another.

According to the University of Vermont, "American Sign Language is the primary language of an estimated 100,000 to 500,000 Americans, including deaf native signers, hearing children of deaf parents, and fluent deaf signers who have learned ASL from other deaf individuals."

You can view the heartwarming ad here: