A Happy Meal box becomes the plaything in this sentimental McDonald's spot

Smuggler's Adam Berg directs ad by TBWA/Paris designed to appeal to nostalgic adults

Published On
Oct 23, 2019

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McDonald's in France is appealing to people's nostalgia and affection for happy meals in a new ad in which a little boy uses a Happy Meal box to collect things he loves.

The ad, by TBWA/Paris, comes at a controversial time for Happy Meals, following a U.K. petition to get the company to scrap the plastic toys that are included in the boxes. It led to a pledge by the company to come up with more sustainable options but in the meantime, rival Burger King stole a march with a commitment to "melt down" its own plastic toys

We can't help but wonder if McDonald's is trying to divert attention from the toys by not featuring them at all. In the film, directed by Smuggler's Adam Berg, the boy doesn't take anything out of the Happy Meal box but instead uses it to put things into; a pinecone, some bubbles from his bath, some of his mom's perfume, peeling paint and a pebble from the beach. It ends with him presenting the collection to his grandmother. 

The spot is running on TV, online and in movie theaters.