Ronald McDonald takes to Twitter, gets makeover - New York News

Ronald McDonald takes to Twitter, gets makeover

Posted: Updated:
Ronald McDonald's makeover - Credit: McDonald's Corp. /April 24, 2014 Ronald McDonald's makeover - Credit: McDonald's Corp. /April 24, 2014



NEW YORK (AP) -- Ronald McDonald has a new look, and he's ready for a selfie.

McDonald's said Wednesday its famous spokesclown will take an active role on social media for the first time, using the hashtag (hash)ronaldmcdonald. The move marks a turnaround from recent years, when the red-haired mascot faded to the background as McDonald's came under criticism for using him to market to children.

But the world's biggest hamburger chain seems ready to give its clown a higher-profile role as it works to boost weak sales.

The company says Ronald McDonald won't have his own Twitter handle, but that it will post photos and videos of him on its existing social media accounts. The clown, known for his painted-on smile and baggy yellow jumper, will also appear in TV ads later this year wearing new clothes, including cargo pants and a vest. Other photos of him posted by McDonald's on Wednesday showed him wearing a red sports coat over the cropped pants.

"His iconic big red shoes will remain the same," McDonald's said in a statement.

"Selfies ... here I come! It's a big world and now, wherever I go and whatever I do ... I'm ready to show how fun can make great things happen," McDonald's quoted the fictional clown as saying.

Ronald's promotion comes as McDonald's looks to reset its business. The company, based in Oak Brook, Ill., is hoping to fix slowness and inaccuracies in orders and is emphasizing its most popular items in marketing, including the Big Mac and french fries.

Ronald McDonald, first played by longtime TV weatherman Willard Scott, made his debut in 1963 and has played a major role in making McDonald's the dominant player among kids in the fast-food industry. The company even named him its "chief happiness officer" in 2003.

A group called Corporate Accountability International in recent years has pressed McDonald's to retire the clown and stop marketing its food to children. McDonald's has defended its mascot as "a force of good." At its annual shareholder meeting last year, CEO Don Thompson noted the company hasn't been using the clown the way it used to, but stood by the mascot.

"Ronald is not a bad guy - he's about fun, he's a clown. So I'd ask all you to let your kids have fun too," Thompson said.

On Wednesday, the company said Ronald "represents the magic and happiness" of McDonald's.

After staying relatively quiet in recent years, the clown did make an appearance of sorts online recently after Taco Bell ran TV ads featuring real-life Ronald McDonalds professing their love for its breakfast. McDonald's subsequently tweeted a photo of the clown kneeling down to pet a Chihuahua. The image was a reference to Taco Bell's retired mascot and received around 3,000 retweets.

McDonald's said Franchise owners around the world will be able to use new designs incorporating the revamped Ronald over the next few years.


© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Didn't find what
you were looking for?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NY grand jury to weigh charges for Tony Stewart

    NY grand jury to weigh charges for Tony Stewart

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:43 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:43:05 GMT
    A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said he made the decision to present the case to a grand jury after reviewing evidence collected by county sheriff's investigators.
    A grand jury will decide whether NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will be charged in the August death of a fellow driver at a sprint car race in upstate New York, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said he made the decision to present the case to a grand jury after reviewing evidence collected by county sheriff's investigators.
  • Boater gets prison for fatal Hudson River crash

    Boater gets prison for fatal Hudson River crash

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 3:18 PM EDT2014-09-16 19:18:53 GMT
    A man who was drunk when he crashed a powerboat into a construction barge, killing a bride-to-be and her fiance's best man, was sentenced Tuesday to two years in jail. The victims' families, who say poor lighting on the barge was the main cause of the collision on the Hudson River, called the sentence "incomplete justice."
    A man who was drunk when he crashed a powerboat into a construction barge, killing a bride-to-be and her fiance's best man, was sentenced Tuesday to two years in jail. The victims' families, who say poor lighting on the barge was the main cause of the collision on the Hudson River, called the sentence "incomplete justice."
  • NY: Wal-Mart levied fake 'sugar tax' on soda

    NY: Wal-Mart levied fake 'sugar tax' on soda

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 2:53 PM EDT2014-09-16 18:53:56 GMT
    New York's attorney general has settled a false advertising investigation at Wal-Mart, saying stores were charging a nonexistent "sugar tax" on soda.
    New York's attorney general has settled a false advertising investigation at Wal-Mart, saying some store personnel were citing a nonexistent "sugar tax" on soda. Investigators say some consumers who complained were falsely told the state has a "sugar tax." They say the markup of more than 16 percent violated state laws.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices