If your name is Ronald McDonald for real and you love breakfast, then you might be starring in a new video promoting breakfast—not at the mega-burger chain with all those golden arches, but at Taco Bell.
Yep, in a video created by the local ad agency Deutsch LA, Taco Bell has tapped 25 real people with the name Ronald McDonald (sorry, too late to legally change your name now) to tell the world what they think of the new breakfast menu at the fast food chain.
They all love it.
Ronald McDonald from Chicago is “surprised how good it is.” The Dubuque, Iowa, Ronald says, “Eggs, sausage, a little syrup, what more can you ask for?” Ronald McDonald from Bossier City, La., claims “it’s really good,” though you can’t see what exactly he’s eating. And the Ronald from Kane, Pa., loves the new A.M. Crunchwrap.
That’s about it for the breakfast critiques until the closing group shot. The 25 men named Ronald McDonald recite, all together now, “I’m Ronald McDonald and I love Taco Bell’s new breakfast.”
Freeze the frame and you’ll see in tiny print at the very bottom, “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.”
Mike Sheldon, CEO of Deutsch LA, the ad agency in Marina del Rey that created the ad, told the L.A. Times in an interview Thursday that they knew it couldn’t just be another ad campaign. When they came up with the idea “Ronald McDonald loves Taco Bell,” that was it.
They went out and found 400 Ronald McDonalds around the country, narrowed it to 50 and, after Skype interviews, chose 25. “We were looking for interesting characters who could add a little flavor themselves to the idea because who they are is interesting. In that mix, we had everything from a business executive to a funeral director to a guy who runs junkyards.”
They flew the 25 out to L.A. for a three-day shoot. “We picked them up at the airport and every sign a driver was holding up said Ronald McDonald. And when they checked into the hotel, every room was reserved under the name Ronald McDonald,” says Sheldon. “While we were shooting, we had trailers where they could change and each one had a name Ronald McDonald on the door. Nobody knew quite which trailer to go in, which was part of the fun.”
For the shoot, Taco Bell brought in the breakfast items and they just started filming. “We were prepared to do this in a very honest documentary fashion,” says Sheldon, “and if someone didn’t like the product, we were open to including that response.” As it is, he says, “there’s wasn’t anybody there who didn’t absolutely fall in love with the product.”
Lucky for him. So why aren’t all 25 chowing down on a waffle taco or breakfast burrito with gusto? Though enthusiastic comments from just a handful of the participants are included in the short video, Sheldon says at some point a video with all 25 responses will be posted on Taco Bell’s YouTube Channel.