McDonald’s shows off Ronald’s new look ahead of social media push

McDonald’s is giving its brand ambassador Ronald McDonald a makeover and introducing him to Twitter for the first time as it puts the character at the front of a new social media campaign aimed at showing how fun can lead to acts of goodness.

The “Fun makes great things happen” global campaign will launch in June and see McDonald’s post pictures and videos of Ronald using the #RonaldMcDonald hashtag. Ronald has also been given a new look, with cargo pants, a vest and red-and-white striped rugby shirt replacing his old one-piece.

TV ads and promotional material featuring the new-look Ronald will appear later in the year, intially in the US. New or remodelled stores will also have the opportunity to incorporate revamped graphics and furniture of Ronald over the next few years.

McDonald’s has pulled back from using the Ronald character in recent years over criticism that he was a tool to market junk food to children. Instead, McDonald’s has used its brand ambassador to promote the Ronald McDonald House Charity, which provides free “home away from home accommodation” for families who have children in hospital.

The return to using Ronald to front marketing campaigns comes as McDonald’s looks to boost sales following a 1 per cent dip in profits for the three months to 31 March. Speaking on a call following its most recent results, McDonald’s president and CEO Don Thompson said the fast food chain would look to make its marketing “less disparate” and focus on its most popular products, such as the Big Mac, McMuffin and Fries.

Dean Barrett, McDonald’s global relationship officer, says: “Ronald brings to life the fun of our brand by connecting with customers around the world, whether he’s promoting literacy or spreading cheer at a Ronald McDonald House. Customers today want to engage with brands in different ways and Ronald will continue to evolve to be modern and relevant.”

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