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McDonald’s Pitches Itself as the Answer to Christmas Madness

‘Tis the season to be merry and bright, but beyond the glittering lights and mulled wine, the demands of the holiday period can often feel like hard work.

That’s why this year, McDonald’s wants people to know it’s there for them, whether they want to escape the lackluster office Christmas party or leave the nativity show a little early.

The fast-food chain’s feel-good U.K. holiday ad by Leo Burnett U.K. showcases the power and irresistible lure of a Big Mac, inviting the nation to ask friends, family and co-workers if they “Fancy a McDonald’s” this season.

Building on the brand’s “Raise Your Arches” campaign, launched in January 2023, McDonald’s festive spot opens at a dull workplace gathering where a woman in a snowman costume is reluctantly singing a karaoke duet with her colleague. Saved by a ping, she receives a message from her friend: a burger and fries emoji followed by a question mark.

As 1980s banger “Jump” by Van Halen comes into play, the woman’s friend raises his eyebrows at her, extending an invite to McDonald’s that needs no words. Together, they go off, with the rest of the party in tow.

The crowd walk across town as other groups of people with the same idea raise their eyebrows and leave their festive gatherings to join in, including Santa. The procession grows by a group of commuters whose trains get cancelled and a cohort of parents desperate to escape their kids’ nativity play.

The crowd strides towards their local McDonald’s branch, and the golden arches glow comes into view. The film ends with smiling McDonald’s staff greeting everybody before “Fancy a McDonald’s?” appears on screen.

The ad is directed by Killing Eve’s Shannon Murphy and will run across TV, social and PR channels. Alongside this, the brand will run 30 days of offers via its app, allowing customers to win food and merch, including special edition Crocs decorated with McDonald’s iconography.

The creative is a departure from McDonald’s longstanding “Reindeer Ready” Christmas work, which sought to build an emotional connection with audiences.

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