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By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

May 13, 2024 | 3 min read

The move is part of a wider campaign to encourage families to talk about mental health openly. This important message has landed it our top spot today.

For the first time, McDonald’s has removed the iconic smiles from its Happy Meal boxes. The move, titled ‘The Meal,’ marks Mental Health Awareness Week and encourages families to have important conversations with each other about varying emotions.

What this ad from Ready10 does brilliantly is put kids at the heart of this topic and show just how crucial it is to chat with younger people about how they are feeling. To remain sensitive to the topic, the fast-food chain partnered with BBC’s Children in Need for the project. This has resulted in a dedicated online hub that will host resources to encourage candid conversations on emotional well-being with children.

All the children featured in the ad express themselves openly, which is a real breath of fresh air. The recognizable voice of football legend Rio Ferdinand also provides familiarity to the spot.

According to the brand performance platform Kantar Marketplace, this ad is very impactful and viewers will likely remember it log after it finishes. Negatively though, Kantar estimates that this will do little to increase sales for the fast food chain.


Head of consumer comms and partnerships: Louise Page

Communities and partnerships manager: Melodie Richards

Consumer PR manager: Charlie Madsen-Pilcher

Comms agency: Ready10

Managing director: David Fraser

Managing partner: Kate Addy

Campaign lead: Tom Stroud

Director: Laura Coleman

Senior creative strategist: Dana Hanna

Social and digital account director: Nader Ghahreman

Account director: Francesca Martin

Account manager: Immy Omole

Account executives: Sophie Donne, Chloe Phillips

Designer: Aman Malhi

Creative agency: Leo Burnett

Chief creative officer: Mark Elwood

Executive creative directors: Andrew Long, James Millers

Senior creatives: Helen Rogerson, Owen Hunter Jenkins

Creative director: Hayley Power

Creative director of design: David Allen

Designers: Danny Flint, Charlie Crosthwaite

Motion design director: Carmen Perez

Motion designer: Milan Mezi

Project director: Siobhan Mulcahy

Agency TV producer: Georgia Morris

Deputy chief strategy officer: Tom Sussman

Planner: Hamish Cameron

Business lead: Steph Bates

Account director: Charlotte Crawley

Senior account manager: Sian Davidson

Account manager: Brittony Kelly

Production company: Rogue Films

Producer: Fred Bonham-Carter

Director: Jake Mavity

Editor: Flaura Atkinson

Post-production company: Stich Editing (offline), Black Kite (online and animation)

Audio post-production company: Sine Audio

Child psychologist: Dr Maryhan

Media agency: OMD UK

CRM: Armadillo

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