McDonald’s U.K. Created a Christmas Ad That’s Going to Leave Parents Choked Up


For kids heading into their teenage years, the holidays can be a time of emotional conflict. Part of you wants to enjoy it all, but part of you wants to grow up and leave the kid stuff (aka the joy) behind.

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The process isn’t easy on teens, but it’s especially hard on parents. After more than a decade of simple delights and warm moments around the holidays, you suddenly find yourself with a young adult who doesn’t want to be treated like a child anymore.

McDonald’s U.K., via agency Leo Burnett London, captures this challenging time perfectly in “Inner Child,” the brand’s holiday ad for British and Irish audiences. Using a simple visual metaphor, McDonald’s shows how family rituals can develop some baggage that’s hard, but not impossible, to move past.

“Our heart-warming tale of Tom and his mum aims to reignite the magic of Christmas across the U.K. and Ireland this winter,” said Michelle Graham-Clare, vp of menu and marketing. “That moment as the pair reconnect over the reindeer treats, saved from their trip through the drive-thru, represents the common truth of children determined to grow up but swept up by the festive spirit. I am sure it is a feeling that will be familiar to so many families.”

The soundtrack is a cover of the 1984 track “Forever Young,” this time performed by Becky Hill. With each download of the song, 10 pence will be donated to FareShare, a food charity also being supported by U.K. retailer John Lewis through its holiday promotion.

“Tom and his mum perfectly demonstrate the truth of the teenage/child conflict that we can all relate to, and ultimately the magic of Christmas in bringing people closer together,” said Chaka Sobhani, CCO at Leo Burnett London. “After all, if you can’t be ‘forever young’ at Christmas, when can you be?”

The 2020 spot follows Leo Burnett’s similarly themed ad from last year’s holiday season:


McDonald’s Brand Team

Vice President of Marketing: Michelle Graham-Clare

Marketing and Food Director: Steve Howells

Marketing Manager: Hannah Pain

Senior Brand Manager: Hollie Subhan 

Brand Manager: Anna Kerr

Campaign Assistant: Chansey White 

Creative agency: Leo Burnett 

CCO: Chaka Sobhani

Creative Director: James Millers & Andrew Long

Creative Team: Steph Ellis & Rory Hall

Head of Planning: Tom Sussman, 

Planning Director: Joe Beveridge 

Planner: Thomas Schofield

Business Lead: Bethany Watts

Account Team: Steph Bates, Laura Taylor, Alice Pavey, Annie Flood 

Project Director: Emily Green 

Head of TV Production: Graeme Light

Media Buying Agency: OMD 

Production company: Passion Pictures 

Director: Againstallodds

Exec Producer: Debbie Crosscup

Head of Production: Mike Turoff

Producer: Matt Saxton

Production Assistant: Honor Martin, Nefeli Petika

CG Co-ordinators: Emma Rider

Head of CG: Jason Nicholas

CG Supervisor: Stuart Hall

Animation Supervisor: Wesley Coman

Character Design: Againstallodds, Juan Useche

Background Design: Alejandro Diaz, Jules Durand

Research & Development: Ronnie Mitchell

Boardomatic / Animatic: Againstallodds 

PREVIZ: George Rigby, Wesley Coman

Editing: Againstallodds, Kingley Bailey, Christina Conradi, Tim King

Layout: David Burtle, Jason Nicolas

Modelling (character): Mattias Bjurstrom, Filippo Bovolini, Florent Rousseau 

Modelling (environment): Florent Rousseau, Jack Enever, Maryka Laudet, Quentin Camus, Camille Jalabert

Texturing: James Nardelli, Maryka Laudet, Quentin Camus, Jose Hernandez, Francois Pons, Camille Jalabert, Fanny Teisson, Interference Pattern, Jack Enever

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