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Leo Burnett Company, Limited
175 Bloor Street East, North Tower
Toronto, Ontario M4W 3R9
+416 925 5997

Margaret Arnold

SVP, Director, Human Resources

EVP David Kennedy


Lisa Morch

VP, Director of Knowledge Mgmt

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McDonald’s UK Solves the Flat White Mystery

McDonald’s introduces the flat white to its menu in the United Kingdom in a humorous spot created by Leo Burnett London

Customers looking to order a simple caffeinated beverage come up against the pretentious coffee market in Leo Burnett London’s new humorous ad for McDonald’s introducing the flat white to the brand’s menu in the United Kingdom.

The “Flat White” campaign continues poking fun at the category following McCafé’s successful brand relaunch last year with the “Madness” spot. With a mission to demystify and democratize coffee for the masses, the ad highlights McDonald’s role in the market with its offer of “Great Tasting coffee, simple.”

“Leo Burnett’s McCafé work has really struck a chord with our customers who just want a good coffee without the fuss,” said Michelle Graham-Clare, senior marketing manager at McDonald’s. “While the ad is funny and will spark recognition among viewers, at the same time it gives customers confidence, and we see it as a great tool in introducing flat whites to our restaurants.”

In the film, customers try to understand what a flat white is – only to be met with condescending faces, impenetrable descriptions and nonsense explanations. Viewers begin to realize that, in reality, no one knows precisely what a flat white is.

Finally, a woman working behind the counter at a McDonald’s provides a sensible definition. “It’s like a stronger latte, just with less milk,” she cheerfully tells a customer, who is happy to get to the bottom of the mystery.

“People seem to have really resonated with our previous campaigns for McDonald’s no-nonsense coffee offering, so it made sense to continue with the same no-nonsense approach when it came to introducing the new flat white,” said Chaka Sobhani, chief creative officer at Leo Burnett London. “After all, you shouldn’t need to have a qualification in cocoa bean farming to enjoy a good, simple cup of coffee!”

The campaign debuted on Feb. 12 on television, social, out-of-home, radio, press, geo-text and sales promotion channels.