McDonald's pokes fun at the cliches of coffee advertising to promote the simple pleasures of McCafe

But U.K. ad by Leo Burnett isn't a response to Burger King, says the brand

Published On
Mar 19, 2019

Editor's Pick

McDonald's new ad for its McCafe coffee running in the U.K. isn't a response to the latest Burger King coffee campaign, says the agency that created it, Leo Burnett London.

But it's surely serendipity that it breaks in the same week that Burger King debuts a gorgeously-filmed coffee commercial, tapping "Chef's Table" director David Gelb to capture how its beans are harvested, to support its new coffee subscription service. 

The McDonald's ad pokes fun at rival coffee advertisers, by explaining all the things the brand "could" put in its coffee commercial, except it hasn't. These include a "humble origins story" with "conveniently placed sacks of coffee"--as we see footage of cloudy rainforests which, frankly, could have come straight out of BK's effort. 

The spot goes on to give other examples, including shots of models inhaling mugs of coffee to uplifting music; slo-mo films of arabica beans flying in the air; a bearded hipster crafting coffee like a mad scientist; a contemporary dance routine symbolizing the blend of coffee and milk and even an "epic blockbuster" with the product "crowbarred" into it. (Yup we've seen all these before). It goes on to conclude that actually, McCafe is quite happy to keep it simple and explain that its coffee contains freshly ground arabica beans and organic milk. 

It's not the first time McCafe has poked fun at pretentious coffee culture--a 2017 spot, also by Leo Burnett, had fun at the expense of hipster-style coffee shops. The new spot expands of the theme nicely with an amusing script and pastiche of different styles, by director Us at Academy. 

"The category can still take itself a little too seriously so what better than gently ribbing the madness when all we really want is a cup of great tasting coffee, simple," says Chaka Sobhani, chief creative officer at Leo Burnett London, in a statement. 

We're inclined to agree. 


Mar 19, 2019
Client :
Agency :
Leo Burnett-London
Chief Creative Officer :
Chaka Sobhani
Creative Director :
Pete Heyes
Senior Creative :
Andrew Long
Senior Creative :
James Millers
TV Producer :
Bruce Macrae
Head of Planning :
Max Keane
Senior Planner :
Adriana Ferran
Group Project Director :
Jamie Teale
Project Manager :
Sian Collister
Client Service Director :
Victoria Reiz
Business Director :
Kate Tweed
Account Director :
Jassmine Wixon
Senior Account Manager :
Felicity Davies
Account Manager :
Kate Aspinall
Account Executive :
Gabriella Kaas
Marketing Director :
Michelle Graham-Clare
Marketing Manager :
Tom O’Neill
Brand Manager :
Jodie White
Campaign Assistant :
Copywriter :
Andrew Long
Art Director :
James Millers
Planner/CSU Director :
Adriana Ferran
Media Agency :
Executive Business Director :
Jo Butler
Associate Director :
Lucy Johnson
Communications Planning Manager :
Jamie Graham
Strategy Director :
Julia Smith
Connections Planning Manager :
Anna Martorana
Digital Connections Planning Associate Director :
Tom Kirkham
Investment Associate Director :
Alex Neary
Production Company :
Academy Films
Director :
Audio Post Production :
750 MPH
Post Production :

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