This Might Be One of the Most Lovely and Unexpected McDonald’s Ads Ever

TBWA\Paris brings the wonder of reading to life

A young girl and her mother embark on a journey of exploration. TBWA\Paris

If you were lucky enough to have been read bedtime stories as a child, then you’ll no doubt have fond memories of being transported to different places and times using the power only of a good story and your childhood imagination.

TBWA/Paris captures that sense of awe and wonder in its latest campaign for McDonald’s France, which promotes the fact that since 2015 the fast food chain has given away 60 million free books with children’s Happy Meals.

Directed by Reynald Gresset and produced by La Pac, the short digital film shows a mother and daughter transported on an adventure as they read a story together. The spot is set to the 2015 track “Trouble” by Cage the Elephant.

The bed doubles as a ship, which takes them across water on a one-night odyssey.

Together, they stare in amazement at the dramatic landscape and hold on tightly as the bed sails over rapids. They hide under a blanket to shelter from heavy rain, and even spot a teddy bear who has come to life.

Towards the end the bed docks lightly against the child’s bedroom wall, at which point the mother closes the book and kisses her goodnight. Save for the final frame, the ad doesn’t feature any McDonald’s branding.

Minimal (or absent) branding has been a signature of TBWA\Paris’ work in recent years on the McDonald’s account. Last month, TBWA/Paris created clever outdoor ads that didn’t contain any McDonald’s logos. The shop leveraged the power of the fast food brand’s menu in the out-of-home ads, which showed a Big Mac, fries and a cheeseburger with giant, bite-shaped chunks missing from the edges.

The ads were a continuation of the brand’s global “no logo” campaign strategy, which first launched in 2013 with a series of logo-free close-up product shots, and was followed by a campaign that turned its most popular menu items into digital icons, minus any branding.

Client: McDonald’s
Agency: TBWA/Paris
Advertiser Managers: Xavier Royaux, Anne Lainé, Leila Abdallaoui, Gabrielle Guillaume
Agency Managers: Marc Fraissinet, Stéphanie Caude, Amalia Mateos Gella
Executive Creative Directors: Benjamin Marchal, Faustin Claverie
Art Director: Lucie Vallotton 
Copywriter: Vincent Cusenier
Head of TV: Maxime Boiron 
TV Producer: Elisabeth Boitte
Production House: La PAC 
Executive Producer: Jérôme Denis 
Director: Reynald Gresset
Producer: Louis St Calbre
DOP: Khalid Mohtaseb
Video Editor : Graham Chisolm
CEO Else: Maxime Boiron
Post Producer: Elise Gamboa
Postproduction: Else/ Digital District
Sounds: Else
Head of Music and Sound: Olivier Lefebvre
Soundtrack Producer: Fabrice Pouvreau
Art Music Directors: Ferdinand Huet, Thomas Jacquet
Sound Engineer: Alexandre Robieux
Music Credits: 
Song Title: Trouble by Cage the Elephant
Author / Composer: Daniel Auerbach, Jared Champion, Brad Shultz, Matt Shultz, Daniel Tichenor
Editor: R And R Nomad Publishing Co. / Sony / ATV Songs LLC / Hour Box Music / 4U2ASKY
Media agency: Starcom

@saramayspary Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.