McDonald’s Without Ronald
McDonald’s is trying to act all mature as it goes for a
more upscale and adult shopper. So, where does that leave an iconic clown closing
in on 50? If you’re Ronald McDonald, it leaves you pretty much on the side
acting as a brand ambassador for the company’s good deeds, but not very involved
in the marketing of the brand.
Bob Dorfman, the executive creative director
at Baker Street Advertising, told Bloomberg
News, "He kind of represents the old McDonald’s, with the
high-fat content foods that are kind of falling out of favor. It’s
clear that McDonald’s is advertising coffee, they’re not advertising
"They’re just headed in a different direction," Jack Russo,
an analyst at Edward Jones & Co., told the news service. "A lot of
people have grown tired of fries and burgers."
The new McDonald’s sells
fruit smoothies, caramel mocha and other coffee drinks in restaurants with
free WiFi and comfortable, padded seats, not the hard, yellow versions associated
with the old Mickey D’s.
"They’re trying to get a Starbucks feel," Joel Cohen, president
of the Cohen Restaurant Marketing Group, told Bloomberg. "You’ll
see the greens and the browns, those nice earthy tones."
has reduced the role of Ronald, rival Burger King continues to put its "King" character
front and center. Part of that, according to experts, is that Burger King’s "creepy" mascot
is presented to appeal to adults and not kids.
Jim Hardison, the creative director
at Character LLC, told Bloomberg, "They
embrace that creepiness on purpose … their character couldn’t be confused
with a children’s icon."
Discussion Questions: Is the “new” McDonald’s headed in the right marketing direction? What about Burger King?