In celebration of McDonald’s Day, we’ve had a look back at some of the brand’s best UK campaigns. From their annual Christmas adverts to the recent ‘raise your arches’, there’s no denying that McDonald’s and good marketing go hand-in-hand.
Keep reading as we reveal some of the top campaigns that we’ve been lovin’...
Raise Your Arches | 2023
Led by Leo Burnett UK, the latest McDonald’s campaign celebrates the simple joy of that “Fancy a McDonald’s?” moment. Turning the iconic Golden Arches into a pair of eyebrows, the TV advert shows an office of employees marching to McDonald’s after one worker ‘raises their arches’.
Unlike any conventional TV ad, this one doesn’t show a McDonald's restaurant or even any of their food. It also doesn’t mention the brand name until the end of the advert, proving how universal the golden arches really are.
We’re not embarrassed to admit that this one definitely resonates with our office of fun lunch lovers. I mean, who would turn down a £1.99 wrap?
The Gift | 2021
Representing the joy of giving, “The Gift” is a heartwarming TV advert by McDonald’s. It focuses on a young man who receives a hand-me-down car from his mum. At first, he’s a little disappointed as it isn’t exactly his “dream car”, but he soon realises the importance of appreciating the little things. Despite its flaws, he heads off for a drive to McDonald’s. It is there that we see a shift in mood.
Along with a bit of spare change and a few crispy golden fries, his spirits are soon lifted. He happily drives off, listening to Westlife’s ‘Flying Without Wings’, and feeling the freedom of having his own car. When he arrives home, he thanks his mum and gives her some McNuggets as a nice gesture.
The advert then ends with the tagline, “sometimes, a little means a lot.”
The List | 2022
The 2022 McDonald’s Christmas advert features a young boy who writes an extremely long list for Santa. After spending a lot of time thinking about all the gifts he wants, he unfortunately, loses his list on Christmas Eve.
After a moment of disappointment, followed by a visit to McDonald’s with his mum and dad, the boy soon realises that the little things in life are what really matter most.
Tapping into consumers’ emotions, there’s no doubt that McDonald’s generated a heartfelt message with this festive campaign. Focusing on themes of family, togetherness and nostalgia, these types of ads are an effective way to connect with their audience and resonate with families over the Christmas period.
McCrispy Launch | 2022
Featuring Maya Jama and Keith Lemon, this star-studded ad showcases how good the new McCrispy really is. As the first permanent addition to the menu since 2007, there’s no denying that McDonald’s set out to create an advert that appeals to a wide audience (AKA chicken lovers).
From office workers and bus takers to Keith Lemon in his living room, the iconic advert makes references to various aspects of life in the UK, generating a positive buzz around the new menu item.
Despite featuring a diverse group of McDonald’s customers, the campaign was actually produced in a way to appeal to a younger, more trend-conscious audience. For example, Jama's vibrant personality and infectious energy helped to make the ad feel fresh and modern, while the colourful visuals and upbeat music created a sense of excitement, sustaining the interest of those who are likely to try the new “ultimate” chicken burger.
The Signature Collection™ | Love affair - Luxury in a bun | 2018
In efforts to promote The Signature Collection™, this McDonald’s ad exhibits a touch of luxury. Unlike any other fast food advert, ‘Love Affair’ first embodies those we often see for expensive perfumes and other luxury products.
Showcasing two well-dressed lovers, the 30-second ad ends with a much more humorous plot twist. What was once a love story between a man and woman, soon turns into a rather odd love triangle. The light-hearted ending reveals that the woman is, in fact, in love with her gourmet Signature burger.
The ad was a playful nod to the passionate fandom that McDonad’s has amassed over the years, with many customers having a deep love for the brand’s iconic burgers. By personifying this somewhat different love affair, the ad tapped into the emotional connection that many people may feel with the golden arches.
What can we learn from McDonald’s Marketing?
Whether you like their food or not, there’s no denying that McDonald’s has produced some pretty good marketing campaigns! By maintaining consistent branding, understanding its audience and demonstrating complete creativity, the fast food chain continues to capture viewers time after time.
If you love their out-of-box thinking but need a little help with the marketing side of things, feel free to check out our range of digital services here at DMT.