If the clothes make the man, then Ronald McDonald must be a modern man — or, at least, he's trying to be. Take a look at his new wardrobe.
The smiling mascot — or should we say "brand ambassador"? — ditched the old jumpsuit and revealed his new duds Wednesday. Talk about swag. (Via McDonald's)
And it's not just fresh clothes. Ronald will soon begin engaging with customers on social media. He doesn't have his own Twitter handle yet, but he'll post messages on McDonald's account using the hashtag #RonaldMcDonald. (Via Twitter / @McDonaldsCorp)
But it's more than just tweets and hashtags we have to look forward to. He said in a statement, "Selfies, here I come!" Congratulations, world.
So let's talk about those threads. For his casual day look, he'll don cargo pants, a vest and a striped rugby shirt. But his evening wear features a classy red blazer and bow tie. Chic. (Via Flickr / McDonaldsCorp)
Even his hair is sleeker — it's been straightened and possibly cut shorter. But one key accessory will stay the same: those big red shoes.
Tony Award-winning costume designer Ann Hould-Ward, who has worked on Broadway shows and circuses, is responsible for Ronald's new look, which took two years to create. (Via Big Apple Circus)
Ronald has taken a backseat in the company's marketing for the past few years after being criticized for being an immoral mascot. After all, he's basically been accused of being a kid-friendly clown hawking unhealthy junk food. (Via Marketing Week, Letter To McDonald's)
According to The Wall Street Journal, Ronald became less popular with children and was soon used almost exclusively in marketing for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Ronald's new look, however, coincides with his revamped, kid-centric mission: "Fun makes great things happen." According to International Business Times, it's an effort to stay relevant.
But its not just him — the whole company is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. Despite the fast-food chain's efforts to update its restaurants with sleeker design, free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, first-quarter reports for the year show overall sales dropped 5 percent.
So, can a more modern Ronald help? USA Today interviewed Kate Newlin, a brand consultant. She says, "As a strategy, it feels a little desperate," saying the new Ronald is trying to remind people, "Please remember you once loved me."
Ronald did have a lot of love in the 51 years since he was created. His last update was back in 2005.