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McD's desperation: f*cking around with Ronald McDonald

This is twisted. The company is having some serious image problems (see Super Size Me, CEOs dropping dead, lawsuits over its food causing obesity), so now they are going to give Ronald McD a makeover. I don’t think they are calling on the Queer Eye team though. Or are they? (Toronto Globe and Mail):

“We’re letting Ronald escape from the playpen,” said Larry Light, McDonald’s global chief marketing officer.

“He’s been confined to kids. We’re repositioning Ronald McDonald. So, Ronnie is going through a retraining program — taking courses in humor that kids can look up to rather than adults look down at.”

McDonald’s has been quietly tweaking the character’s image in recent years as it struggled to revitalize its marketing, menu items and sales. Corporative executives are preparing for a coming out, of sorts, of the revamped Ronald in the near future.

The clown will frequently drop the familiar red, yellow and white jumpsuit and size 29EEE shoes and don different outfits, such as a basketball jersey, a beach outfit and a tuxedo. In all, there are seven new costumes, Light said.

Plans also include depicting Ronald at sporting events on the tray liners, creating a television show to be aired in U.S. schools with Ronald as a “motivator” to get kids to eat right and to be more active. Similar computer software is in the works.

Then there’s Ronald’s sense of humor. Light says it will resemble the comedy used in blockbuster movies Shrek and Finding Nemo, which resonates with children and adults. He would not elaborate. However, characters in those movies are known for double-entendres and pop-culture puns.

Maybe you Photoshop aces out there can give him a makeover for the Blend.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding