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How One World-Famous Clown Salutes Another

Leo Burnett Thjnk Tank helps McDonald’s celebrate 60 years with ‘Popov, the Clown’

McDonald’s “Popov, the Clown," GPC Rating: 7.4

In celebration of McDonald’s 60th anniversary, Leo Burnett's Thjnk Tank in Munich enlisted a world-famous clown to help salute another.

Oleg Konstantinovich Popov is one of the world’s most admired circus performers. To honor his illustrious career, as well as celebrate McDonald’s founding, Thjnk Tank produced this charming spot that offers a glimpse into one night in the life of his renowned alter ago, Popov the Clown.

In this film, Popov is shown doing what he does best: Greeting his fans and making them happy. After he takes his bows and removes his costume and grease paint, he drives around in the late hour looking for a place to eat, but finds most restaurants are already closed—that is, until a pair of Golden Arches warmly greets him. Before he digs into his comforting meal, he respectfully nods to another iconic clown, Ronald McDonald.

Through this sentimental and touching spot, the agency was able to take Popov’s story, which is ultimately about bringing joy to people, and also make it a story about what McDonald's does for people. And like Popov, McDonald’s has been bringing joy to people for 60 years, proving that “when you make people happy, you never get old.”

About the GPC Scale: Every quarter, the Leo Burnett Global Product Committee, comprising our top creative leaders from around the globe, gathers to evaluate the work from the global network. Over the course of a week, the GPC views, discusses and rates the work using our 10-point HumanKind Scale. Work that receives a 7-point rating is considered to be the benchmark for excellence in craft. To learn more about the GPC and the HumanKind Scale, watch this video.