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McDonald’s UK – Ball Pit (2020)

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This ad follows a coffee-drinker’s ill-fated visit to a hipster coffee shop.

She’s on the phone, and initially fails to notice the bizarre things going on around her. Having realised she has paid an excessive amount for her coffee, she starts to take in her surroundings — she’s just helped fund the cafe’s ridiculous excesses. A live Dj set, massages, swinging egg chairs and a ball pit are all available for patrons to enjoy (or endure) while they drink their coffees and try to get on with some work.

The problem is clearly portrayed. The solution? McCafe — no frills coffee at a reasonable price.


Taking a pop at your competitors is always a risky business. You can come off looking petty, or alienate a demographic. But when it’s done with a liberal dash of well-meaning humour, you end up with an ad that stands out.

McDonald’s knows its audience. Coffee snobs are never going to visit a McCafe anyway, so this ad doesn’t need to appeal to them. It appeals to the people who are in a rush, don’t want to pay through the nose for coffee, and aren’t interested in having an Instagrammable ‘experience’.

We enjoyed the wealth of visual gags. Together, they create a comedic world that feels layered and ‘complete’.

The condescending barista’s awkward dance is a highlight, and hammers home the brand message through its stark contrast to the no nonsense approach of their McDonald’s counterpart. The ‘no children’ sign on the ball pit is a nice touch that rewards repeat viewing.

Whether you’re a McCafe regular or a £5.30 flat white connoisseur, we reckon you’ll get a laugh out of this one. You’ll certainly be left in no doubt what the McCafe brand is all about.

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