Taco Bell is introducing their breakfast menu with big names and one of them is an unlikely clown – Ronald McDonald.
The famous fast-food chain will begin airing ads Thursday that feature normal everyday men who just so happen to have the same name as the infamous McDonald’s mascot known for his unruly bright red hair, white makeup, and yellow jumpsuit. The marketing campaign is designed to promote Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu, which features novelty items such as the new waffle taco.
The chain, owned by Yum Brands Inc. of Louisville, Ky., is looking to boost sales by opening at 7 a.m. at roughly 6,000 of its U.S. stores starting this week.
If Taco Bell wants to compete with the number one player of breakfast in the fast-food industry, McDonald’s, it has a long way to go, according to market researcher Technomic. Egg McMuffins and other breakfast food items have been top sellers for McDonald’s over the years, with their breakfast menu accounting for about 20 percent of the company’s U.S. sales.To put it into perspective, a Yum executive has said breakfast accounted for just 4 percent of sales when it was first being tested at Taco Bell stores in select markets. That was before their national campaign rolled out, however Taco Bell President Brian Niccol said in a phone interview that the goal was to get that figure to a level “much greater than that.”
Niccol admitted the real-life Ronald McDonalds were paid for their appearances in the ads, but says their enthusiastic reactions to the food were genuine.
“All of them resoundingly loved the food,” he claimed.
Deutsch LA, Taco Bell’s ad agency, found around 400 men and women with the name Ronald McDonald, Ronnie McDonald, or some variation, Niccol said. A few dozen were selected to represent different regions around the country.
The men show their love of the new breakfast items by making comments such as, ‘It’s not messy” and “it has everything I like.”