Our top 5 McDonald’s UK adverts

Over the years, McDonald’s adverts on TV have been hit and miss to say the least! Whilst there have been some disasters, that’s not what we’re focusing on in this blog. We’re here to celebrate some of our favourite adverts that Maccies have put out since their debut on televisions in 1963.

We’ve combed through the archives and after some discussion and friendly debate, we’ve put together our definitive top 5 list. So, whether you’re a fan of fast food or not, sit back, relax, and have a look at the adverts we’ve chosen. You just might get hit by some nostalgia along the way!

Do you have any favourites that we’ve missed? Share them with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin!

5. Just Passing By (2009)

Whilst this ad from 2009 doesn’t tug on the heart strings in the way a lot of modern adverts do, it’s simplicity in terms of production and message makes it effective. It portrays fantastically well the range of McDonald’s customers and shows that the brand is for almost anyone, from any walk of life.

We loved the focus on diversity in this ad which, despite its simplicity, is powerful and heart-warming.

4. Dave (2013)

Dave was McDonald’s best effort from 2013 and it resonated with a lot of people at the time. Whilst it did receive some criticism for simplifying a big issue for a lot of kids – dealing with losing a parent and getting along with step-parents – it was bold of McDonald’s to recognise the issue.

The idea that a simple meal at McDonald’s could make that much of a difference might be a little bit far-fetched, but the message behind the ad is admirable and its heart is in the right place.

3. We All Make The Games (2012)

2012 was a huge year for London and the UK as we welcomed the Olympics for the first time since 1948. Advertisers jumped on this opportunity and McDonald’s were no different.

We loved hosting the Olympics and this ad just built on that anticipation and excitement around the country. The ad itself was nothing ground-breaking but the encouragement of celebrating the country and our diversity was perfect for the moment it was released.

2. Being Six (1998)

We’re going back in time with this one to over 20 years ago. ‘Being Six’ was an advert that McDonald’s released in 1998 in America and the UK. It follows a 6-year-old boy facing all of the trials and tribulations that a kid faces.

It’s one of the earliest examples of McDonald’s advertising specifically for kids and almost certainly led to thousands of children demanding a Happy Meal in exchange for a tough day at school!

1. Inner Child (2020)

Inner Child was McDonald’s Christmas ad for 2020 and follows the formula that many advertisers use around this time of the year. The ad tugs at your heartstrings as it tells the story of a mum and her teenage son as they both deal with the reality that he’s growing up.

The ad focuses on the son’s inner child, which wants to play and enjoy time with his mum, and his gruff teenage exterior denying it at every turn. It culminates in a heart-warming and touching end, centred around McDonald’s Christmas staple of Reindeer Treats – a bag of carrots that you can get from their restaurants.

The ad is a must-watch if you haven’t seen it in the past, especially if you’re a fan of John Lewis’ famous Christmas ads!

Author:

peter@redpeppermarketing.com

Content Marketing Manager