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Ronald or Ronette?

September 23, 2005

Who’d have thought McDonald’s iconic clown, Ronald, could ever be described as sexy? The greasy-fast-food chain’s clown has had a stylish — dare I say smoldering — and successful makeover in a Japanese ad campaign.


As reported by The Guardian today, “A gender-bending makeover of McDonald’s marketing icon in Japan has been hailed a great success after capturing the public imagination and enticing adults back into its outlets to sample a revamped menu.”


Of course, universally everyone knows Ronald McDonald as the creepy clown (as all clowns are creepy, yeah?) who wears gi-normous shoes, red mini-afro and yellow MC Hammer-pants-fashioned overalls (i.e., baggy, kids, baggy pants and now baggy overalls...savvy?).


The Guardian noted: “In the Japanese TV commercial, the foxy female version, with shoulder-length straight auburn hair in place of Ronald's frizzy mop, smoulders at the camera in a flowing yellow dress, and later a red and white striped bikini with thigh-length leggings and red high heels.”


The man behind the campaign, Hidekazu Sato (known by his nickname Kazoo) — the associate creative director at Beacon Communications — insisted to The Guardian that he “did not create a female Ronald McDonald - but merely appropriated his instantly [recognizable] outfit.”


“We devised the costume and took the red and white stripes and the yellow, which were [recognized] and converted them into a stylish dress,” Kazoo told the UK paper via a translator. “We were assuming that even if we didn't include the McDonald's logo and even if the model was a beautiful caucasian just those [colors] of the mnemonic design would wake up people's association with McDonald's.”


Perhaps his next task will be to model The Hamburglar after Viggo Mortensen?


Of course, what with the media-purported obesity epidemic spreading at record pace in the United States, perhaps the success of this campaign should stay in Japan.


Otherwise ... I say, Kudos to you, Kazoo.


Ronald or Ronette Picture gallery




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