McDonald's Christmas ad captures a parent's worst nightmare

Dramatic spot for Germay does not start out as your typical feel-good fare

Published On
Dec 03, 2019

Editor's Pick

This year's Christmas spot from McDonald's in Germany doesn't start out as the heartwarming holiday fare we might expect.

The film opens on a woman looking desperate, screaming out someone's name—it could be the start to a horror movie.  Then we cut to a family rushing through a railway station, in a hurry to board a train to the airport. The daughter is lagging behind as her mom nags her to keep up, when her attention is caught by a busker playing the guitar and singing "Auld Lang Syne."

When the parents reach the train carriage, they suddenly notice their daughter is missing. We're plunged into every parent's worst nightmare as they dash around the station desperately looking for her (including in the McDonald's they just visited). Midway through the frantic search the singing finally stops—and they work out where she is. She's sharing some McDonald's takeout with the busker. The spot ends on a message about caring: "The greatest gift of all is being there for each other."

The film, running on TV and in cinemas in Germany as well as online, was directed by TPfilm's Sune Sorensen for agency Leo’s Thjnk Tank. It was shot in Budapest and  "Auld Lang Syne" was re-recorded by musician Eve Polycarpou, who was cast as the busker in the film as well.

“I absolutely love the traditional Christmas spots with their heartfelt stories, and I do believe we have an equally heartwarming message in our film, but I personally tend to prefer more dramatic Christmas movies, like 'It’s a Wonderful Life,' because they impact me more," said Sorensen. "Albeit atypical for a TVC—not least during Christmas—I felt we have space for drama in this type of advertising too."



Dec 03, 2019
Production :
Director :
Sune Sorensen
Director of Photography :
Rasmus Heise
Exec. Producer :
Carlo Walther
Producer :
Nicolas Mirbach
Steadicam :
Karsten Jacobsen
Casting Director :
Michael Cox
Casting :
Hammond Cox Casting
Post Production :
Grading :
Mike Bothe
Gregers Music :
Sound & Music :
Musician :
Eve Polycarpou
Production Services :
Filmteam Kft
Executive Producer :
István Major
Producer :
Péter Fülöp
Set Designer :
Attila “Digi” Kővári
Stylist :
Diana Marton
Stylist :
Ildiko Ando
Mom "Anna" :
Miranda Nolan
Dad "Hans" :
Chris Ryman
Daughter "Ida" :
Luciana Akpobaro
Busker :
Eve Polycarpou
Chief Marketing Officer :
Susan Schramm
Director Marketing :
Jörn Winkler
Department Head Marketing :
Stephanie Blum
Senior Team Manager :
Tatjana Uher
Agency :
Leo's thjnk tank
Managing Director Creation :
Hans-Peter Sporer
Creative Director Copy :
Janne Sachse
Account Director :
Yasmin Gibbah
Chief Production Officer :
Thomas Nabbefeld
Agency Producer :
Tobias Saalmann
Agency :
Leo’s Thjnk Tank
Client :

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