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Teenager Rediscovers His Inner Child in Touching McDonald's Christmas Spot

Leo Burnett London teams with Passion Pictures' Againstallodds to tell the festive tale of Tom and his mother

Teenager Rediscovers His Inner Child in Touching McDonald's Christmas Spot

This Thursday 12th November, McDonald’s is launching its 2020 Christmas advert, following the story of a young boy facing an internal struggle between the child they were, and the teenager they want to be. ‘Inner Child’ will air on Sunday (15th) during ITV’s flagship show, I’m A Celebrity, after premiering on McDonald’s social channels on Thursday 12th November. 

The 90 second animated film, created by McDonald’s advertising partner Leo Burnet and directed by Againstallodds from Passion Pictures, follows the story of Tom and his mum during their Christmas Eve rituals – from hanging decorations to browsing the Christmas market. 

Teenage Tom is unresponsive to his mum’s efforts to get him in the festive spirit, however his inner child tells us a different story.  A quick stop at McDonald’s to pick up some Reindeer Treats helps lift his spirits and Tom slowly starts to listen to his inner child. 

As the day goes on, Tom starts to join in with the festivities, no longer battling between his inner child and the teen he longs to be. Through the love of his mum and the rituals of Christmas, Tom learns that you can embrace both. He even suggests leaving some Reindeer Treats out for Santa, showing his mum that he is at last, #ReindeerReady. 

The campaign re-emphasises the innocence and escapism Christmas brings, and celebrates the unique role that McDonald’s plays in the lives of the nation at Christmas, often a familiar pit stop amid traditional rituals. 

‘Inner Child’ will appear nationwide this week and run for six weeks across TV, VOD and social with media planning and buying led by OMD. McDonald’s will be releasing teaser films over the course of the weekend, with 10 second spots featuring during The Voice and The Chase. 

Michelle Graham-Clare, vice president, menu and marketing said: “Our heart-warming tale of Tom and his mum aims to reignite the magic of Christmas across the UK and Ireland this winter. That moment as the pair reconnect over the reindeer treats, saved from their trip through the Drive Thru, represents the common truth of children determined to grow up but swept up by the festive spirit. I am sure it is a feeling that will be familiar to so many families and in this year we are proud to be spreading some much-needed Christmas cheer with this multi-channel campaign.

“We are delighted to be working with Becky once more following her sensational appearance at our recent music event I’m Lovin’ It Live. Her stunning performance of Forever Young adds an additional sparkle to this beautiful creative and I am incredibly grateful that she has chosen to support FareShare with the release of the single too. It’s been a really challenging year and I hope our contribution to the competitive Christmas campaign window raises a much-needed smile.”

Chaka Sobhani, CCO at Leo Burnett added: “Tom and his mum perfectly demonstrate the truth of the teenage / child conflict that we can all relate to, and ultimately the magic of Christmas in bringing people closer together. After all, if you can’t be ‘forever young’ at Christmas, when can you be?” 

The heartwarming film is accompanied by British singer and songwriter Becky Hill’s remake of the iconic track Forever Young, which is due to be released on 15th November, with 10p from every download going to FareShare, the UK’s longest running food redistribution charity.

McDonald’s announced its partnership with FareShare in October, to provide one million meals for families in need. Earlier this year, as the first lock down was announced, McDonald’s donated over 400,000 tonnes of food to FareShare, food Drop and other food banks and charities.

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CLIENT: McDonald’s


McDonald’s Brand Team

Vice President of Marketing: Michelle Graham-Clare

Marketing and Food Director: Steve Howells

Marketing Manager: Hannah Pain

Senior Brand Manager: Hollie Subhan

Brand Manager: Anna Kerr

Campaign Assistant: Chansey White

Creative agency: Leo Burnett

CCO: Chaka Sobhani

Creative Director: James Millers & Andrew Long

Creative Team: Steph Ellis & Rory Hall

Head of Planning: Tom Sussman,

Planning Director: Joe Beveridge

Planner: Thomas Schofield

Business Lead: Bethany Watts

Account Team: Steph Bates, Laura Taylor, Alice Pavey, Annie Flood

Project Director: Emily Green

Head of TV Production: Graeme Light

Media Buying Agency: OMD

Production company: Passion Pictures

Director: Againstallodds

Exec Producer: Debbie Crosscup

Head of Production: Mike Turoff

Producer: Matt Saxton

Production Assistant: Honor Martin, Nefeli Petika

CG Co-ordinators: Emma Rider

Head of CG: Jason Nicholas

CG Supervisor: Stuart Hall

Animation Supervisor: Wesley Coman

Character Design: Againstallodds, Juan Useche

Background Design: Alejandro Diaz, Jules Durand

Research & Development: Ronnie Mitchell

Boardomatic / Animatic: Againstallodds

PREVIZ: George Rigby, Wesley Coman

Editing: Againstallodds, Kingley Bailey, Christina Conradi, Tim King

Layout: David Burtle, Jason Nicolas

Modelling (character): Mattias Bjurstrom, Filippo Bovolini, Florent Rousseau

Modelling (environment): Florent Rousseau, Jack Enever, Maryka Laudet, Quentin Camus, Camille Jalabert

Texturing: James Nardelli, Maryka Laudet, Quentin Camus, Jose Hernandez, Francois Pons, Camille Jalabert, Fanny Teisson, Interference Pattern, Jack Enever

Texturing Characters: Eva Prado

Rigging: Victor Vinyalls, Mattias Bjurstrom, Arthur Ranson, Sarah Forest

Hair Groom: Keyvan Leriche

Animation: Wesley Coman, George Rigby, Alan Person, Lucas Pratdesaba, Francisco Garcia, Jordi Girones

SFX & SIM: Colin Perrett, Kwai Ip, Derlene Buttner, Tyler Daniells , Stephane Daguin

Lighting & Rendering: Howard Bell, Jose Hernandez, Francois Pons, Ian Beresford, Stuart Hall

Compositing: Sam Meisels, Daniel Lopez, Flavio Kawamoto

Matte / Background Painting: Sam Klughertz

Post-Production: Framestore

Passion Pipeline TD: Javier Edo, Tony Ambles

IT Support / Engineering: Tim Wharton, Daniel Borg, Thomas Lynch

Audio Post

Audio Company: Factory

Sound Design & Mix: Josh Campbell & Anthony Moore

Audio Producer: Beth Massey


Account Team: Amy Lea, Laurence Ruthven, Eleonora Sceusi

Media Planners: Jamie Callaghan, Becky France

Media Buyers: Alex Neary, Alex D’Albertanson

The Marketing Store:

Digital Creative Director: Darren Groucutt

Creative Technology Director: Hils Jakison

Senior Creative: Mark Kelly

Senior Creative: Vanessa Tucker

Digital Designer: Jade Wilson

Account Team: Emily Duggan, Alice Napier, Madhushri Nadgir

Category: Fast food , Retail and Restaurants

Genre: Animation