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McDonald’s Family Ties

In 1954 Ray Kroc, a highly successful, sole USA distributor of ‘MultiMixers’ that could make five milkshakes simultaneously, visited a restaurant in San Bernardino, California, that had purchased eight of his appliances.

There he met the McDonald brothers Maurice and Richard, who ran their restaurant on an assembly line basis, to produce a large volume of hamburgers, French fries, and of course, milk shakes.

He was so impressed by the effectiveness of their operation to deliver menu items with such an assured standard of consistent quality, that he decided to enter into a franchise structured business venture with the brothers.

Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald’s franchise restaurant on 15 April 1955, in Des Plaines, Illinois, and as the saying goes, ‘the rest is history’.

The founding-focus on creating convenient, family-friendly eating experiences diligently continued, and today the words “I’m lovin it”, reverberates unabated across the world with old and young alike.

1. McDonald’s, Cravings

Advertising Agency: DDB, Sydney, Australia

McDonald’s, or ‘Macca’s as it is fondly called in Australia, produced the ‘Cravings’ commercial to commemorate Mother’s Day 2020 as part of their ongoing “We’ll be here” communication campaign.

Superbly directed by Christopher Rigget, the charming story centers on a Mum and her loving daughter, who on Mother’s Day, makes the announcement of her pregnancy to her Mum in a very endearing and memorable way.

2. McDonald’s, Drive-Thru

Advertising Agency: TBWA Chait Day, USA

Directed by Fredrik Bond, this charming story that many parents can relate to with a knowing smile, is a multi-award winning commercial that has become an advertising classic of note and one of my all-time McDonald’s favourites.

3. McDonald’s, Ellie & Archie The Reindeer

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, London, UK

Seen through the eyes of a young girl’s vivid imagination, this charming story combines live footage directed by James Rouse, with animation by Passion Animation Studios directed by ‘Againstallodds’.

The result is magical and the surprise ending makes for very rewarding viewing.

Based in Stockholm, Sweden, ‘Againstallodds’ is an award-winning collective of digital advertising specialists in computer graphics, illustration, and 2D stop-motion animation.

The integrated campaign includes “Archie the Reindeer” e-book, audio and storybooks, and in-store promotions of free McDonald’s carrot sticks.

4. McDonald’s, Ralphie

Advertising Agency: Leo’s Thjnk Tank, Munich, Germany

Directed by Sune Sorensen, the charming story about young lad Ralphie and his T-Rex friend uses an automated, dinosaur body suit, invented in China, to entertaining filmic effect.

5. McDonald’s, Mischief Undone

Advertising Agency: DDB, Sydney, Australia

Directed by Tim Bullock, this delightful story is about a mischievous ‘little devil’, that decides to become an angelic ‘little angel’, so that she will be included in a family outing to McDonald’s.

As the story unfolds, the pranks she pulled on her family are amusingly revealed. Even their pet dog fell prey to her mischievous machinations.

The Soundtrack features Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking’” by Lee Hazelwood.

6. McDonald’s, Moments

Advertising Agency: TBWA, Paris, France

Directed by Martin Werner, the ‘Moments’ commercial is about the outcome of a Dad’s anxious search for the late-night whereabouts of his son.

The insightful story exemplifies the concerns parents often have about their offspring of being able to safely handle their coming of age independence.

7. McDonald’s, The Door

Advertising Agency: TBWA, Paris, France

Skillfully directed by Louis Sutherland, the originally tilled “La Porte” commercial is an insightful depiction of loving reassurance by a caring Dad to his young daughter.

When he notices her unhappiness of feeling he and her Mum have sidelined her in favour of her younger sibling, it’s time for some family bonding at McDonalds to set the record straight.

8. McDonald’s, Little Sister

Advertising Agency: Leo Burnett, Manila, Philippines

Directed by Stephen Ngo, the endearing ‘Little Sister’ story from the Philippines is part of McDonald’s integrated “sarap” communication campaign.

“Sarap” moments of “Love ko to” (I’m Loving It), are those we especially hold dear, with the ones we hold dear.

McDonald’s, The Gift

Advertising Agency: Leo’s Thjnk Tank, Munich, Germany

‘The Gift’ involves a dramatic scenario that signals a bold McDonald’s departure from the usual standard fare of ’feel-good’ promoting stories that dominate brand campaigns during festive seasons.

Filmed in Budapest, the dark, unfolding parental nightmare, directed by Sune Sorensen with great story telling skill, ends with the impactful contrast of a heartwarming message; “The greatest gift of all is being there for each other.”

The featured soundtrack of “Auld Lang Syne”, was re-recorded by musician Eve Polycarpou, who plays the role of a busker in the film sharing some McDonald’s takeout with the compassionate young girl at the center of the story.