McDonald’s and BETC built the Emoticon City

Ads, Creativity


McDonald’s France and BETC launched the “Come as You Are” signature in 2008 and, recently, they once again brought it to life through “Emoticon City”, a new brand campaign that quickly went viral.


Over the years, McDonald’s France has used different ways to bring their signature, ‘Come As You Are’ to life, often tying it to contemporary subjects. A spot from 2010 that promoted gay rights became one of the most talked about ads that year.

The new ad, which was released in France August 2015, focuses on emotions.  Whether you are happy, sad, stressed or excited, you are always welcome at McDonald’s.


Emoticons have become a universal language of its own, one that makes text message conversations more personal and emotional, emoticons seemed like an obvious choice to bring out the “Come as You Are” message.

BETC Paris teamed up with the French director duo We Are From LA (behind Pharrell’s “Happy”), to create a living world of emoticons.


The spot was shot in a small town in France that over a couple of days was filled with people wearing big, yellow heads.

The creative team says: “That was a sight itself, but the real fun came when the heads were animated with a whole range of emotions. Suddenly the little faces we all use in text messages and emails came alive”.

Campaign’s credits are available here.