McDonald's Sweden Tells Its Founder's Heartbreaking True Story

The origin of Ronald McDonald House in Sweden

More than 40 years later, McDonald's Sweden is telling the story of its founder's family tragedy, and the silver lining that emerged from their terrible pain. 

A new long-form spot, "For Erica," opens in 1960 with Paul Lederhausen (who founded McDonald's in Sweden) and his wife Iréne joyfully welcoming their baby girl into the world. But before long, they realize their daughter is ill—seriously so. 

The film, created by Nord DDB and produced by the Social Club and director Simon Kaijser, tells the rest of Erica's story over the following three minutes. 

For Erica

It's a beautiful piece—gorgeously filmed and well acted. The film was based on chapters from Lederhausen's autobiography, and treats Erica's tragedy—she suffered from cystic fibrosis and passed away in 1976—with the utmost care and respect. And of course, it's an emotional way to communicate the painfully authentic roots of Ronald McDonald Houses in Sweden. 

"It is with pride and a lot of emotion that we present this film," says Staffan Ekstam, McDonald's marketing director in Sweden. "Paul, Iréne and Erica's life and history have touched us all. We hope to be able to create interest among our guests into contributing to the fundraising we have at the restaurants, and together with us support the Ronald McDonald House Charities in the important work they do for sick children and their families." 

The film will air in digital, on TV and in cinemas. 


Agency: NORD DDB
Media agency: OMD
PR agency: Prime
Production company: Social Club
Director: Simon Kaijser

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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