This Emotional Ad Tells the True Story of How the Ronald McDonald House Started in Sweden

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It’s not every day you see a McDonald’s ad that truly tugs at the heartstrings. Yet that’s exactly what Nord DDB’s latest ad for the fast food chain does.

The spot tells the emotional story of Paul Lederhausen founding the Swedish chapter of Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provides housing for families of children with severe illnesses to live close to the hospitals where they’re receiving care.

The ad, titled “For Erica,” follows the life of Paul and Iréne Lederhausen’s daughter, who suffered from cystic fibrosis, and how her parents dealt with the grief of her passing. In the wake of her death, the Lederhausens started a fund that led to the creation of Sweden’s first Ronald McDonald House in 1993, next to Huddinge Hospital.

Since then, the charity’s operations have grown in Sweden. There are now five locations around the country and, according to McDonald’s, Ronald McDonald Houses have helped more than 50,000 families to live close to the care their children need.

“For Erica” is based on sections of Lederhausen’s biography, with Nord DDB and director Simon Kaijser doing justice to the emotional story with cinematic style over the course of the nearly 3-minute spot. The ad will air on broadcast, in cinemas and on digital channels.

“It is with pride and a lot of emotion that we present this film. Paul, Iréne and Erica’s life and history have touched us all,” said Staffan Ekstam, McDonald’s marketing director for Sweden, in a statement. “We hope to be able to create interest among our guests [in] contributing to the fundraising we have at the restaurants, and together with us support the Ronald McDonald House Charities in the important work they do for sick children and their families.”

Nord DDB seems to have a knack for this type of emotional storytelling for unexpected brands, as evidenced by the agency’s “To Give More” ad for Nordic electronics retailer Elkjøp.

Agency: NORD DDB
Media agency: OMD
PR agency: Prime
Production company: Social Club
Director: Simon Kaijser

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