OAK BROOK, Ill., April 24 (UPI) -- McDonald's announced that it has given mascot Ronald McDonald a makeover and will make him the forefront of its marketing campaign, especially on social media.
Ronald seems to have dumped his ill-fitting, baggy yellow jumpsuit. Instead he now wears mustard cargo pants and a red-and-white striped rugby shirt. According to the company, for "special occasions" Ronald will wear a bright red blazer with McDonald's golden arches on the front pocket and his signature on the back, and a special bow tie to complete the look.
Ronald will continue to have gloves, big floppy red shoes and the unmistakable, hurts-your-eyes red hair, which may have been trimmed for a sleeker look.
"Designing new clothes for Ronald McDonald was one of the highlights of my career," said Ann Hould-Ward, a theatrical designer. "I've worked with some really big names over the years and suiting up a living legend was a real thrill."
Ronald will also have a larger online presence, and will push the company's mission of “fun makes great things happen.” The company will use the hashtag #RonaldMcDonald for tweets that refer to the mascot.
McDonald's will feature Ronald in TV commercials that will be released later in the year. The company has given existing and new restaurants a few years to incorporate Ronald into in-store graphics, furniture and décor.
McDonald's is fighting an aggressive PR campaign by Taco Bell, which recently introduced a new breakfast line to compete with McDonald's. Taco Bell released a commercial, which went viral, that showed 25 real-life Ronald McDonalds saying they prefer the Mexican chain's breakfast line-up.