McDonald’s scores its most effective Christmas ad of the decade

McDonald’s is continuing to enjoy considerable success with its innovatively stripped-back ‘Raise Arches’ brand platform, with its 2023 Christmas spot proving highly effective.

According to creative effectiveness platform System1, the restaurant chain’s latest festive effort has proved to be its most effective Christmas ad so far this decade.

“Fancy a McDonald’s this Christmas” is the brand’s highest scoring ad on the System1 scale (4.1 stars) since its unparalleled 2017 film “#Reindeer Ready” broke the five star barrier (which only 1% of ads achieve.)

“It’s great to see brands stay consistent at Christmas and get a thumbs up from the British public,” System1 chief customer officer, Jon Evans said.

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“What’s impressive about this ad is that they’ve taken the “eyebrows” idea which worked so well outside of the Christmas context and adapted it brilliantly. With a lot of ads, the Christmas commercial is terrific but it doesn’t tie in as strongly with their ongoing campaigns. McDonalds have avoided that problem in style. A great idea is for life, not just for Christmas.”

Notably, the cut-down 30-second version of the ad has registered the most impact – perhaps indicating that the traditionally long Christmas ad may not be optimally effective. In any case, McDonald’s ongoing ‘Raised Arches’ narrative is clearly proving to be continually popular.

Evans continued: “Christmas ads have a tendency to be long, and with the big storytelling hits like Aldi it’s the full versions that do best. But in the wider world of advertising, we’ve found 30 seconds is the ideal length for effectiveness. And some of this year’s ads which are more idea- than story-focused like McDonalds and Morrisons’ are performing very strongly at 30 seconds.

“Lots of Christmas cheer but more bang for your budget too. It also performs strongly on Spike, our short-term measure. McDonalds is an impulse buy even at Christmas, so short-term effectiveness is vital, and they’ve nailed it.”

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