MAA Ads of the Year: McDonald’s and Nationwide by NCA’s James Murphy

60-second perfection and punch

McDonald’s “Raise your arches” has a simple, celebratory confidence that reflects a brand and agency (Leo Burnett London) who know exactly what they’re doing together.

It stands out as piece of work that is entirely self-contained. It stands or falls entirely on what you see, hear and feel in 60 seconds on the screen.

There is no back-story, no higher moral calling, just the reductive joy of creativity where you feel nothing could have been added to make it better, and nothing taken away.

It revels in the brand’s ubiquitous and iconic identity and the insight that a guilty pleasure is even better when it’s shared.

And one of ours

The Nationwide is the world’s biggest Building Society, but despite its scale, sees itself as a challenger. The big banks have closed huge numbers of branches placing Nationwide as the UK’s largest branch network. With a new agency, NCA and new campaign “A good way to bank”, Nationwide doubled down with a pledge to keep all existing branches open. This spawned a high impact and highly amusing TV campaign with actor Dominic West and a series of powerful outdoor campaign that was almost political in its punchiness.

James Murphy is a co-founder and CEO of New Commercial Arts.

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