Leo Burnett London Gets #ReindeerReady in Holiday Spot for McDonald’s

By Erik Oster 

Leo Burnett London unveiled the follow-up to last year’s “#ReindeerReady” holiday spot for McDonald’s.

The ad focuses on the ones actually doing the work pulling Santa’s sleigh and their vegetable snack of choice. An endearing 90-second shows Santa’s reindeer increasingly frustrated over the course of the night as house after house fails to leave out carrots. The Christmas crew seems to be running out of fuel when Santa gets an idea to perk them up.

In retrospect, maybe Santa should have figured out he could have just stopped at a McDonald’s a little earlier. Still, it’s a nice lighthearted effort that builds on last year’s holiday campaign that also can stand on its own and manages to position the brand as the hero in a way that doesn’t invite instant incredulity.

OMD UK provided media buying and planning for the campaign, which will run across broadcast, cinema, video on demand and social outlets. The full 90-second spot made its debut yesterday with a partnership across ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. Going forward, the campaign will run for six weeks, with the ad also appearing in  60-second, 40-second, and 30-second versions. It also includes a seasonal rebranding of McDonald’s carrot sticks as Reindeer Treats, an eBook, a Snapchat digital experience and a #ReindeerReady website featuring competitions such as a Christmas jumper (sweater) giveaway.

“After last year, we wanted to build even more fun ways to help get the country Reindeer Ready,” Leo Burnett CCO Chaka Sobhani said in a statement. “With a unique and playful Snapchat lens and filters, an exclusive reindeer e-book, Christmas jumper giveaways, Festive branded carrots and the magical story of Father Christmas and his Reindeer, we hope this year’s McDonald’s campaign warms the hearts of the nation and captures a bit of the magical anticipation of Christmas.”

Agency: Leo Burnett London
Chief Creative Officer: Chaka Sobhani
Creative Director: Pete Heyes
Creatives: Andrew Long and James Millers
Head of TV Production: Graeme Light
Client Services Director: Layla Potter
Board Account Director: Bethany Watts
Account Director: Jassmine Wixon
Senior Account Manager: Felicity Davies
Account Manager: Robert Ellen
Account Executive: Callum Matthews
Account Executive: Thomas Schofield
Head of Planning: Max Keane
Planner: Catherine Owen
Senior Digital Strategist: Carl Juresic
Senior Project Manager: Emily Green
Senior Social Media Manager: Rory O’Neill
Head of Design: Phil Bosher
Deputy Head of Design: Paul Reddington
Designer: Kinda Savarino

TVC Production Company: Outsider
Director: James Rouse
Producer: Benji Howell
Editor: Art Jones at Work Editorial

Production credits
VFX: Framestore
VFX Supervisor: Ben Cronin
CG Supervisor: Ahmed Gharraph, Grant Walker
2D Supervisor: Suzanne Jandu
Head of Animation: Ross Burgess
Animation Lead: Gez Wright
Lighting Lead: Mathias Cadyck
Asset Leads: Joel Best, Gabriela Salmeron, Andrew Butler
Colourist: Steffan Perry
Senior Producer: Josh King
Line Producer: Lucy Grist
Production Coordinator: Emma Hughes

Audio Company: Factory
Sound Engineer: Anthony Moore

McDonald’s Brand Team
Marketing Director for Brand Experience and Media: Ben Fox
Senior Brand Manager: Hannah Pain
Assistant Brand Manager: Sophie Williams
Campaign Assistant: John McClure

Head of Marketing, Food & Beverages: Michelle Graham-Clare
Marketing Manager: Thomas O’Neill
Brand Manager: Jodie White
Campaign Assistant: Harry McLean

Social Team
Social Media Editor In Chief: William Bonaddio
Social Media Manager: Ashleigh-Jayne O’Connell

Jo Butler, Executive Business Director
Emma Carr, Business Director
Jamie Graham, Communications Planning Manager
Julia Smith, Strategy Director
Emma Parrett, Strategic Partnerships Director
Jamie Callaghan, Connections Planning Associate Director
Joseph Easter, Connections Planner
Tom Kirkham, Digital Connections Planning Associate Director
Bea Spring, Digital Connections Planning Manager
Paul Milsom, Investment Director
Alex Neary, Investment Associate Director
Ediz Osman, Social Associate Director

MPC Creative
Creative Director: Andre Assalino
Interactive Producer: Sinead Catney
Animators: Jess Gaynor and Paul Hunt
Front end developer: Joao Pescada
Back end developer: Jamie Whittle
Designers: Bruno Amorim and Adriano Esteves

Senior Creative Strategist – Mark Carroll
Project Manager – Charlotte Cauby
Creative Specialist – Rob Waterman
Business Solutions Lead – Camilla Schilbach

Writer and illustrator: Alex Latimer