Ronald McDonalds tapped
NEW YORK—Taco Bell is name-dropping an unlikely clown to promote its new breakfast menu—Ronald McDonald.
The fast-food chain began airing ads yesterday that feature every-day men who happen to have the same name as the McDonald’s mascot known for his bright red hair and yellow jumpsuit.
But Taco Bell has a long way to go to catch up with McDonald’s—the No. 1 player in breakfast with 31 percent of the category, according to market researcher Technomic.
Taco Bell president Brian Niccol concedes the real-life Ronald McDonalds were paid for their appearances in the ads, but insists their enthusiastic reactions to the food were real.
Taco Bell’s ad agency, Deutsch LA, found around 400 men and women with the name Ronald McDonald, Ronnie McDonald, or some variation, Niccol said.
A couple dozen were selected to represent different regions around the country.
In case it wasn’t clear, tiny print at the end of the ad notes that, “These Ronald McDonalds are not affiliated with McDonald’s Corporation and were individually selected as paid endorsers of Taco Bell Breakfast.”
“We like to do things with a wink and smile,” Niccol said.
“We have a sense of humour.”