Ronald McDonald stars in the latest Taco Bell commercial to promote the fast-food restaurant's new breakfast menu. In a stroke of marketing genius, the company flew 25 men named Ronald McDonald out to Los Angeles to try their breakfast menu, and the tongue-in-cheek commercial began airing Thursday across the country.
The Ronald McDonalds for the Taco Bell commercial were selected for having the same name as the iconic McDonald's food chain clown. They were recruited from all over the country from 400 candidates, then that pool was narrowed down to 25. In the commercial all of the men, who were paid for their endorsements, loved the breakfast menu, which includes the waffle taco, A.M. Crunch Wraps and Cinnabon Delights.
I'm "surprised how good it is," one Ronald McDonald from Dubuque, Iowa, said. "Eggs, sausage, a little syrup, what more can you ask for?" another one from Bossier city, La. Agreed. "It's really good," said another.
"I'm Ronald McDonald and I love Taco Bell's new breakfast," the 25 Ronalds say in unison at the end of the commercial.
Of course, Taco Bell was required to put a disclaimer in the commercial, but even that was a barb at their no. 1 competitor McDonald's.
"These Ronald McDonalds are not affiliated with McDonald's Corporation and were individually selected as paid endorsers of Taco Bell Breakfast, but man they sure did love it," the ad reads.
Taco Bell hired marketing firm Deutsch LA to create the ad, and they created the "Ronald McDonald loves Taco Bell" slogan and campaign. Once executives heard it, they ran with it.
"We like to do things with a wink and a smile. We have a sense of humor," Taco Bell President Brian Niccol told The Los Angeles Times. He told USA Today that customers prompted the restaurant's jump into the fast food breakfast market because of the "sea of sameness in breakfast sandwiches."
Competition is fierce in fast food, which is a $200 billion industry, with breakfast representing $50 billion of it. McDonald's is the leader with 25 percent of the market share, and Taco Bell is attempting to take some by opening their restaurant several hours earlier at 7 a.m.