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Martel et Compagnie
465 rue McGill, 8e Etage
Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2H1
+514 525 4290

Jean-Pierre Martel

President & Chief Creative Officer


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A Little Doll Brings McDonald’s U.K.’s Big Christmas Campaign to Life

Leo Burnett London’s new multi-channel holiday effort features “Juliette the Doll” TV ad, augmented reality and more.

This year, McDonald’s U.K. is celebrating the holiday season with a charming yet high-tech campaign from Leo Burnett London. The push celebrates the fast food giant’s often-unsung role in the Christmas season, when it serves as a warm and joyful refuge for millions of people amid the holiday hustle and bustle.

The campaign’s message is simple: Whether it’s young families or weary shoppers or festive partygoers, McDonald’s is a place for good times during the holidays.

This message is especially true for Juliette, a lonely, vintage wooden doll and the star of the brand’s 90-second holiday TV spot, “Juliette the Doll.” Her heartwarming story and other adventures are the center point of the larger program that also includes an in-restaurant augmented-reality advent calendar.

Year after year, Juliette spends Christmas alone on the shelf of a toy shop. Each day she watches the joy and companionship found at the McDonald’s just across the street. When Christmas arrives, Juliette decides to take a chance and bravely dashes across the busy street to the restaurant. There, she at last finds love: romance with fellow toy Meteor Mike and a family to bring her home.

But this campaign isn’t just mistletoe and powdered snow. It’s has some serious tech chops too.

While “Juliet the Doll” centers on an old-fashioned toy, the spot itself was produced through a range of cutting-edge technologies and techniques, including 3-D printing, puppeteering, computer-generated images (CGI) and augmented reality (AR).

The ad’s premiere on November 22 also kicked off an eight-week multi-channel launch that combined broadcast, out of home, digital and in-store advertising.

Food trays have transformed into advent calendars with the help of AR. This is McDonald’s first venture into the AR space. Using the AR app Blippar, tray mats come alive with games, camera filters, instant-win opportunities and the chance to win Amazon gift vouchers. Customers simply download the app, hold their phones over the mat and watch as a new advent door comes to life each day of the month.

“We wanted to create something that could bring an extra bit of festive fun to every single McDonald’s customer and what better way to do that than by celebrating one of the great Christmas traditions — the advent calendar,” said Leo Burnett London Account Director Simon Hewitt. “We have changed every tray mat into an easy-to-interact-with immersive experience that we hope will create a whole raft of new good times this Christmas.”

The calendar and its surprises will also be available in an online format exclusively for McDonald’s employees as way for the organization to thank and reward its restaurant workers.

In a continuation of the good-times theme, the campaign will also feature a partnership with Global’s Capital FM network. Through the partnership, office workers will have the chance to win a McDonald’s breakfast the morning after their office Christmas parties, as well as prizes throughout December.