Charlotte Rawlings
Nov 13, 2023

McDonald’s brings back ‘Raise your arches’ for 2023 Christmas spot

The ad was created by Leo Burnett UK.

McDonald’s has created the third instalment of its “Raise your arches” campaign for this year’s festive film.

Created by Leo Burnett UK, “Fancy a McDonald’s Christmas?” shows a dull office Christmas party where a woman, dressed in a snowman costume, reluctantly takes part in karaoke with her colleague.

Another co-worker sends her a text simply featuring some emojis of a burger and fries with a question mark. She looks up to see him, clad in a shark costume, raising his eyebrows at her, suggesting: “Fancy a McDonald’s?”

Set to the 1980s track Jump by Van Halen, the rest of the ad shows the whole office taking a trip to their nearest McDonald’s.

The film shows more and more people choosing to get a cheeky McDonald’s, from travellers whose trains have been cancelled to parents enduring their children’s school nativity.

It even has a reference to romantic comedy and Christmas film Love Actually, as a man is shown at someone’s doorstep holding a set of large cue-cards. The cards feature the words: “Fancy a…?”

It ends with a flock of people turning up at the fast-food restaurant in various fancy dress costumes.

The ad was directed by Shannon Murphy, known for directing Killing Eve, through Smuggler and was created by Emma Brooke, Angus Crombie and Drew Davies.

The film is the third in a series of “Raise your arches” spots, following the launch in January and the summer campaign in August.

“The beginning of 2023 saw us turn a simple raise of the eyebrows into an invitation to Maccies,” James Millers and Andrew Long, creative partners at Leo Burnett UK, said.

“So what better way to finish the year than bringing this iconic action back for Christmas? This feel-good campaign hopes to spread some joy, by celebrating all of those important moments of release during the festive period.”

It marks Leo Burnett UK shifting its strategy from the six-year-old “Reindeer ready” platform. Last year’s Christmas spot “The alternative Christmas list” told the story of a young boy striving to make the world’s longest list.

“Fancy a McDonald’s Christmas?” will air on 11 November during The Voice on ITV, Terminator: Dark Fate on Channel 4, and in cinemas – also running ahead of Love Actually 20th anniversary screenings.

Media planning and buying was handled by OMD UK.

The campaign is supported by a social media push, including a Snapchat filter that gives people the chance to try on outfits from the film by “raising their arches”.

McDonald’s is also running 30 days of app offers through the Festive Wins promotion, allowing customers to win food and merchandise, including a partnership with Crocs.

There will also be character visits in restaurants to support the Festive Paddington Happy Meal.

PR was handled by The Red Consultancy, CRM was led by Armadillo and Linney, and all point-of-purchase activity and competitions were led by TMS.

Michelle Graham-Clare, senior vice president, chief marketing officer at McDonald’s UK and Ireland, added: “Celebrating the iconicity of a knowing look, an unspoken communication to signify the all-consuming craving for a Big Mac is something we’ve proudly celebrated all year.

“I cannot wait to see the reaction to our ‘Fancy a McDonald’s Christmas?’ campaign. Underpinned by generous offers and competitions in our app to kick-start Christmas early, we hope to raise many smiles – and eyebrows – once again.”

Campaign UK

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