McDonald’s Revives ’90s Ad Footage to Get UK Fans Back to Dining In

Leo Burnett uses retro footage and an 'NSYNC soundtrack

Footage from the '90s is reborn to promote a retro burger price. McDonald's UK

LONDON—To get people back dining in restaurants after businesses took a huge hit during the Covid-19 lockdown, the U.K government is subsidizing people’s food bills throughout August.

The government is paying 50% of residents’ dine-in bills up to 10 pounds ($13) per head every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Restaurants that have signed up to the “Eat Out to Help Out” program then claim back the cash from the government.

To announce that McDonald’s is taking part, Leo Burnett London has created a nostalgic social spot featuring advertising footage from its 1990s campaigns–highlighting that the price of a Big Mac has now returned to 1990s pricing of just 1.69 pounds ($2.22.)

The spot, launched today across McDonald’s U.K social channels, is even set to the soundtrack “I Want You Back,” the 1996 debut track by boy band ‘NSYNC that was a big hit in Europe.

“This film celebrates the decades-long relationship McDonald’s has had with its customers across the nation, tapping into our desire for comfort and nostalgia while reinforcing McDonald’s generosity and value,” said Mark Elwood, executive creative director at Leo Burnett.


Title: Welcome back to the ’90s
Client: McDonald’s
Agency: Leo Burnett London
Chief creative officer: Chaka Sobhani
Executive creative director: Mark Elwood
Creative director: Andrew Long, James Millers, Pete Heyes
Copywriter: Andrew Long
Art director: James Millers
Designer: Paul Reddington, Richard Pettiford
Planner: Tom Sussman
Account team: Sam Houlston, Jay Perry, Alice Pavey
Producer: Jamie Teale
Editor: Al Sinclair
Producer: Graeme Light, Lou Pegg.

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