Traditionally seen as the short straw of the car seat raffle, McDonald's and DDB share the bright side of the middle seat berth to launch its new brand campaign for the year.
The 60-second spot follows a young girl called Milla over the course of several car rides. As the youngest of her siblings, Milla immediately gets sandwiched between her two boisterous brothers during road trips, school runs and weekend rugby matches.
After a further series of uncomfortable outings between bags of potting mix and an overly-affectionate sheepdog, her middle seat sufferings are finally rewarded when she finds herself in pole position to a bag of drive-thru McDonald's.
Set to Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan's 'Stuck in the Middle with You', the video is a familiar feeling for countless siblings across the country and is an extension of the company's previous forays into story-based campaigns.
"When we look at McDonald's ads that have stood the test of time, they're stories that have captured a human truth that everybody can relate to," says DDB executive creative director Shane Bradnick.
"I think we can all remember those annoying long car rides on the back seat, and we can also all remember being treated to something special at the drive-thru," he says.
McDonald's New Zealand director of marketing Jo Mitchell says the middle seat experience is an authentic slice of many Kiwi's lives and its use is about fostering an emotional connection with the brand.
"For many families, Macca's drive-thru is a part of a family ritual, and it's great to celebrate a feel-good moment when putting up with the often dreaded middle seat."
In more good news for middle seat sufferers, research has shown that children who get stuck sitting in the middle seat on long journeys are more likely to grow up to be rich and successful.
Director of Marketing: Jo Mitchell
Head of Marketing: Bríd Drohan-Stewart
Brand Manager: Eve Miskelly & Olivia Bologhy
CEO: Justin Mowday
Chief Creative Officer: Damon Stapleton
Executive Creative Director: Shane Bradnick
Creative Director: Ben Pegler
Art Director: Zac Lancaster
Copywriter: Tom Cunliffe
Business Director: Mitch Young
Senior Business Manager: Demi Nielsen
Senior Planner: Anna Gunnell
Agency Producer: Rosie Grayson
Production Company: Scoundrel
Executive Producer: Adrian Shapiro
Director: Tim Bullock
DOP: Crighton Bone
Post Production Company: Blockhead
Editor: Adam Wills
Soundtrack/composer/Music: "Stuck in the Middle with You” Stealers Wheel. Licensing by Jonathan Hughes Franklin Rd
Media agency: OMD