The Yum Brands QSR chain begin airing ads that feature everyday men who happen to have the same name as the McDonald’s iconic clown. The campaign is intended to promote Taco Bell’s new breakfast menu, which features novelties like a waffle taco—likely directed right at McDonald’s breakfast patrons.
But Taco Bell has a long way to go to catch up with McDonald’s, the No. 1 player in breakfast with 31% of the category, according to a Star-Tribune/AP story.
By comparison, a Yum executive has said breakfast accounted for just 4% of sales when it was being tested at Taco Bell stores in select markets. That was before national marketing began, however, and Taco Bell President Brian Niccol said in a phone interview that the goal was to get the figure to a level “much greater than that.”
Niccol concedes that the real-life Ronald McDonalds were paid for their appearances in the ads, but insists their enthusiastic reactions to the food were real. “All of them resoundingly loved the food,” he said in the story.
Taco Bell’s AOR Deutsch LA, found around 400 men and women with the name Ronald McDonald, Ronnie McDonald or some variation, Niccol told the AP. The men show their approval of the food with comments like, “It’s not messy” and “Mmm, wow” and “Mmm, real good” and “It has everything I like.”