McDonald’s is giving its long-time mascot a makeover. Ronald McDonald, the iconic clown that kids love and adults find quietly menacing, is getting a more modern look. The character will now sport a yellow vest and cargo pants instead of a jumpsuit, as well as a red-and-white striped rugby shirt. He’ll also don a red blazer and bowtie for “special occasions,” the company says. The outfits were crafted by Broadway theatrical designer Ann Hould-Ward, who said in a press release that designing clothes for the fast-food mascot was "one of the highlights of [her] career."
Expect the redesigned Ronald to be a more active presence on social media. McDonald’s plans to use the #RonaldMcDonald hashtag to allow the character to engage with online audiences, and the company has posted a video to YouTube of a Ronald photo shoot that shows him trying on his new threads. McDonald's also confirmed that, yes, there will be selfies involved.
Ronald McDonald first appeared in 1963 in local McDonald’s ads in Washington D.C. and was named the brand’s national spokesman in 1966. Perhaps bringing more attention to his fixed, broad smile can help lift McDonald’s out of its current funk. The fast-food chain posted disappointing quarterly earnings this week, with same-store sales in the U.S. dropping more than analysts expected.