McDonald’s essays Euro angst and Aussie feelgood at Christmas – and is all the better for it

Here’s a taste of the unexpected for McDonald’s, said to be its first specifically Christmas branding campaign from agency Leo’s Thjnk Tank (which seems to be a bespoke McD agency in Munich) and director Sune Sorenson for TPfilm.

Angst runs riot as a family lose their daughter as they rush for a train to the airport.

McDonald's – "The Gift" from Sune Sorensen on Vimeo.

Director Sorensen says: “I absolutely love the traditional Christmas spots with their heartfelt stories, and I do believe we have an equally heartwarming message in our film, but I personally tend to prefer more dramatic Christmas movies, like It’s a Wonderful Life, because they impact me more. Albeit atypical for a TVC – not least during Christmas – I felt we have space for drama in this type of advertising too.”

It certainly has that. One quibble: ‘Auld Lang Syne’ – for the sake of old times – is supposed to bid farewell to the old year and bring in the new, not really Christmas at all – but never mind. Suppose it will work across the holiday too.

Anyway brave of McDonald’s and a fine piece of work from Mr Sorensen.

MAA creative scale: 8.

Meanwhile, in the Antipodes, there’s a very different campaign from DDB Sydney (48 years on the account it seems) showing neatly and simply the role that McD plays in Australian life (with a dog.)

Angst free – we can only take so much – but good too.

MAA creative scale: 7.5.

So far McDonald’s, unlike other big companies, has eschewed trying to make the same ads work everywhere and profited mightily from it. Maybe it had that in mind with its short-lived We Are Unlimited in the US but that seems to be mercifully consigned to history.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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