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Ronald McDonald gets a makeover for social media

Fast-food giant McDonald's attempts to spiff up its clown in preparation for immersing him in the social-media world.

Ronald McDonald in blazer
Ronald McDonald in his new social-media-friendly suit. McDonald's

It's hard to make a 51-year-old clown seem hip in the age of social media, but McDonald's is sure giving it a try. Ronald McDonald, the fast-food chain's red-haired mascot, is sporting a new set of designer duds in order to look more appealing on the Internet.

"For the first time, Ronald McDonald will take an active role on McDonald's social media channels around the world and engage consumers using the #RonaldMcDonald hashtag," reads a release announcing the makeover.

The clown is rocking a couple different looks created by theatrical designer Ann Hould-Ward, whose credits include productions of "Beauty and the Beast" and "Sunday in the Park with George." The classic orange, red, and white colors are still intact, but he's now wearing a sporty getup along with a version involving an embroidered red blazer described as "whimsical."

This gives an interesting insight into what such a large corporation thinks consumers will find engaging through social media avenues. The new clothes are at least slightly more hip than older outfits, but the vintage haircut still reminds me of Anton Chigurh.

The release includes a quote attributed to Ronald McDonald himself: "Selfies...here I come! It's a big world and now, wherever I go and whatever I do...I'm ready to show how fun can make great things happen." So get ready for some burger-related clown selfies, something the world has no doubt been clamoring for.

Whether or not you consider the makeover a success will probably largely depend on your view of clowns in general, whether you embrace their goofiness or tremble in terror at the site of a red wig and giant floppy shoes.

Ronald McDonald
Ronald McDonald leaps for social-media joy. McDonald's