Case Study: Ronald McDonald Events Spark Social Media Chatter


Ronald McDonald makeover
courtesy Huffington Post

Ronald McDonald Goes Skiing in Malaysia. This Ad Age headline caught my attention. The real Ronald McDonald? What’s this clown up to? Why is he wearing cargo pants?


The cargo pants can be explained here. The larger idea is that McDonald’s has a new and improved mascot appearing at random events to “globally promote fun.” The company hopes that when Ronald appears at events across the globe, individuals will turn to social media to share the occurrence with followers.


Is it working?

Yes. The makeover sparked chatter, but much of it was negative. Jack in the Box cleverly tweeted #McLifeCrisis and the strategy has been called a “desperate” move. The jury is still out on whether or not the random, fun-promoting events will be successful. I predict they will. 7,500 people stopped by the indoor sledding hill in Malaysia and it’s already sparked multiple articles including this blog post. McDonald’s knows what they’re doing.


The rebranding of Ronald McDonald is meant to broaden the appeal of the clown and bring attention to the 40th Anniversary of the Ronald McDonald House Charities this Fall. Whether or not you support the vest and cargo pants, if you saw Ronald McDonald at an event, would you tweet about it? I know I would.

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