McDonalds Pasta See Things

McDonald’s Australia has a charming advertising campaign promoting Pasta Zoo, the new line of children’s pasta-based happy meals. The McDonald’s spot ‘See Things’ shows how a child’s imagination weaves a sense of wonder and fantasy into everyday life. A young girl experiences a playground slide as a UFO before leaving with her brother and mother. While waiting at roadworks the brother imagines the excavator has come alive. Finally they reach their destination – a McDonalds restaurant. The children perceive the fantastic playground in a different way to their mother. As they eat their Zoo Pasta happy meal the boy imagines that he’s developed a bionic arm.

Girl flies playground UFO in McDonalds TV ad

Click on the image below to play the See Things video.


The Pasta Zoo advertising campaign was developed at Leo Burnett, Sydney, by creative director Mark Collis, copywriter Kate Burt, art director Peter Majarich and agency producer Simone O’Connor.

Filming was directed by Josh Baker via Sydney Film Company with producer Nicole Crozier.

Editor was Drew Thompson at Guillotine.

Post production was done at Fuel VFX, Sydney, by VFX supervisor Simon Maddison, VFX producer Dave Kelly, Lead Flame Artist Karen Fabling, Flame Artist Howard Hill, Character Designer Ben Kovar, Designer Eddy Herringson and 3D team members Mike Bain, Eleni Diakomichalis, Chris French, Dave Henderson, Gerard Van Ommen Kloeke, and Grant Warwick.

Notes from Fuel

Fuel VFX Supervisor, Simon Maddison led the Fuel design department to create the various fantasies, a UFO that transforms into a piece of playground equipment; a backhoe that resembles a brontosaurus; and a robotic arm that is just perfect for tucking into McDonald’s new Pasta Zoo menu.

Fuel was given a lot of creative freedom from the agency, Leo Burnett Sydney, and the director, Sydney Film Company’s Josh Baker, to run with a lot of different design ideas. Simon Maddison, a childhood Lego addict and science nut, loved working with Josh and Fuel’s concept artist Ben Kovar on the technology behind the designs. The UFO, for example, was inspired by hovercraft’s, jet packs and the look of early moon-landing hydraulics.

Fuel’s on-set philosophy is to use VFX techniques that are as non-disruptive and as simple as possible and this was particularly the case during the shoot for ‘See Things’. “Especially when working with children you have to minimise their stress or fatigue. And whatever makes the shoot more relaxed for the talent, the director and crew the better,” Simon explains. “The UFO scene is a good case in point. The script requires that a small girl land a spaceship in a suburban park. Fuel initially considered a crane and harness but soon disregarded that option. After some testing in the Fuel car park, we decided to shoot the girl as a separate element on green, that would then be placed into the 3d spaceship on a “card” (a simple 3d plane with the plate of the girl mapped onto it).”


You and I don’t always see eye to eye.
That’s OK – you’ve got an alibi.
‘Cause you don’t see the things I see.

It’s not that you’re wrong
I just see things differently
Things pass you by…
…You don’t see the things I see
No you don’t see the things I see.

The Pasta Zoo Happy Meal includes ten pieces of animal shaped pasta, Zoo Goo dipping sauce, Ripper Gripper to make dipping fun, a cup of milk, a milk flavouring Sipahh straw plus a toy.