Still from McDonalds Christmas 2023 ad showing people wearing Christmas jumpers stood in a line

McDonald’s offers “moments of release” in Christmas ad

The food giant’s festive spot by Leo Burnett shows people being tempted away from boring Christmas rituals towards the golden arches

In the new seasonal ad from McDonald’s UK, guests at the Christmas work do, parents at their wit’s end at the school nativity, and even Santa in his grotto are all happy to pack in what they’re doing for a bite to eat.

The spot, named Fancy a McDonald’s?, shows people abandoning these Christmas traditions and heading in their droves towards the local McDonald’s branch, all to the sound of Van Halen’s 80s classic, Jump.

Directed by Shannon Murphy, known for her work on Killing Eve, the ad is about “celebrating all of those important moments of release during the festive period”, according to James Millers and Andrew Long, creative partners at Leo Burnett.

The spot is a new take on the ongoing Raise Your Arches campaign, which sees people silently communicate an invitation to McDonald’s with raised eyebrows. Plus it also includes a nod to the cue card scene from Love Actually, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, as a way of getting around the wordless campaign concept.

The food chain is the latest in a string of brands advocating for people to find a way of celebrating Christmas in a way that works best for them – which in this case means a trip to McDonald’s, of course. It’s a theme that’s been tackled explicitly (M&S) and implicitly (John Lewis) this year, suggesting an end to the wholehearted embrace of any and all Christmas rituals after the pandemic.

Agency: Leo Burnett UK
CCO: Chaka Sobhani
ECD: Mark Elwood
Creative Partners: Andrew Long, James Millers
Creative Director: Emma Brooke
Creatives: Angus Crombie, Drew Davies
Director: Shannon Murphy
Production Company: Smuggler