Taco Bell's new ads star 'Ronald McDonald' - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Taco Bell's new ads star 'Ronald McDonald'

Posted: Updated:
Source: YouTube Source: YouTube
NEW YORK (AP) - Taco Bell is name-dropping an unlikely clown to promote its new breakfast menu - Ronald McDonald.

The fast-food chain will begin airing ads Thursday that feature everyday men who happen to have the same name as the McDonald's mascot known for his bright red hair and yellow jumpsuit. The marketing campaign is intended to promote Taco Bell's new breakfast menu, which features novelties like a waffle taco.

The chain, owned by Yum Brands Inc. of Louisville, Ky., is looking to boost sales by opening most of its roughly 6,000 U.S. stores a few hours earlier at 7 a.m. starting this week.

But Taco Bell has a long way to go to catch up with McDonald's, the No. 1 player in breakfast with about 31 percent of the category, according to market researcher Technomic. Egg McMuffins and other items have been consistent sellers for McDonald's over the years, with breakfast accounting for about 20 percent of the company's U.S. sales.

By comparison, a Yum executive has said breakfast accounted for just 4 percent of sales when it was being tested at Taco Bell stores in select markets. That was before national marketing began, however, and Taco Bell President Brian Niccol said in a phone interview that the goal was to get the figure to a level "much greater than that."

Niccol concedes that the real-life Ronald McDonalds were paid for their appearances in the ads, but insists their enthusiastic reactions to the food were real.

"All of them resoundingly loved the food," he said.

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 of dozen were selected to represent different regions around the country including Bossier City, La.; Chicago; Dubuque, Iowa; Kane, Pa.; and Worcester, Ma.

The men show their approval of the food with comments like, "It's not messy" and "Mmm, wow" and "Mmm, real good" and "It has everything I like."

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 humor."

As for Ronald McDonald the fast-food clown, the character was first played by Willard Scott in 1963. He was initially depicted as a character that magically pulled hamburgers and fries out of his belt. But the mascot eventually became a target of critics who say McDonald's uses him to market to kids.

A representative for McDonald's Corp. did not respond to a request for comment.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Federal sting ends in gunfire in Highland Park

    Federal sting ends in gunfire in Highland Park

    Friday, August 1 2014 10:27 PM EDT2014-08-02 02:27:28 GMT
    In what started as a traffic stop, resulted in a shootout between federal agents and a pair of men known to have illegal assault rifles in Highland Park.Police say a task force of ATF and FBI agents who had previously set up a meet with two men, known to have AK-47s and AR-15s in their Chevrolet Cavalier, began to move in. The traffic stop was made near Oakland and Victor about 7:30 p.m. Friday. The car rammed the federal agents vehicle and the driver opened fire with a handgun. The agents re...
    In what started as a traffic stop, resulted in a shootout between federal agents and a pair of men known to have illegal assault rifles in Highland Park.Police say a task force of ATF and FBI agents who had previously set up a meet with two men, known to have AK-47s and AR-15s in their Chevrolet Cavalier, began to move in. The traffic stop was made near Oakland and Victor about 7:30 p.m. Friday. The car rammed the federal agents vehicle and the driver opened fire with a handgun. The agents re...
  • Man arrested after trying to wrestle gun from officer in Detroit

    Man arrested after trying to wrestle gun from officer in Detroit

    Friday, August 1 2014 9:32 PM EDT2014-08-02 01:32:44 GMT
    A man was arrested after he went for an officer's gun trying to wrestle it away from Detroit Police, causing the weapon to fire.SkyFOX was over the scene on Manning Street in Detroit, where the incident occurred Friday,The bullet didn't hit anyone and police took a 27-year-old man from Roseville into custody.Police say the home was a known drug den, and when officers drove by the property -- four people ran from the home.The officer and suspect were treated at a hospital for non life threaten...
    A man was arrested after he went for an officer's gun trying to wrestle it away from Detroit Police, causing the weapon to fire.SkyFOX was over the scene on Manning Street in Detroit, where the incident occurred Friday,The bullet didn't hit anyone and police took a 27-year-old man from Roseville into custody.Police say the home was a known drug den, and when officers drove by the property -- four people ran from the home.The officer and suspect were treated at a hospital for non life threaten...
  • New DTE app lets users check their energy use

    New DTE app lets users check their energy use

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:59:24 GMT
    Joel Miller, a senior strategist with DTE Energy, gave us some insight -- on DTE insight. The new, free smart phone app helps customers see their energy use hour by hour -- or minute by minute."By studying your data and by looking around your home you can discover what things are using energy," Miller said. Then, you make choices -- replace appliances or physically turn off whatever's not needed -- or is wasting energy, and save money on your energy bill in the process."I think for a lot of u...
    Joel Miller, a senior strategist with DTE Energy, gave us some insight -- on DTE insight. The new, free smart phone app helps customers see their energy use hour by hour -- or minute by minute."By studying your data and by looking around your home you can discover what things are using energy," Miller said. Then, you make choices -- replace appliances or physically turn off whatever's not needed -- or is wasting energy, and save money on your energy bill in the process."I think for a lot of u...
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices