McDonald's Tells Ronald, 'We're Bringing You Back'

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Don't mess with our Ronald McDonald.

A cheesed-off McDonald's (MCD) is putting its iconic clown Ronald McDonald back into its advertisements and giving him a new wardrobe, saying it has nothing to do with competitor Taco Bell using the name to hawk its breakfast sandwiches.

The fast food company said Wednesday its 51-year-old clown mascot is getting a makeover in an attempt to be "modern and relevant."

Ronald will get an updated wardrobe -- no more jumpsuit -- that, according to the company's press release, will consist of yellow cargo pants and a vest "accompanied by a red-and-white striped rugby shirt." He will also have an optional "whimsical new red blazer" and a "special bowtie for special events."

Besides the new ads, Ronald's new makeover will extend to McDonald's restaurants as well, according to the company. Franchise owners will have the chance to "incorporate revamped in-store graphics, furniture" that feature Ronald McDonald.

Along with the clown's new image, McDonald's said that Ronald will now also have a presence on Twitter.

He will be taking an active role on the company's social media channel, engaging consumers using the #RonaldMcDonald hashtag. The Wall Street Journal reports, however, that the clown will not be getting a Twitter profile of his own.

A recent Ronald McDonald tweet showing a video of the clown's transformation is posted below:

The redesign has apparently been in the works for two years, the company said, but was officially launched the day after McDonald's reported uninspiring first-quarter earnings.

Still, a few weeks ago Taco Bell, part of the Yum! Brands (YUM) family, started featuring real-life people named Ronald McDonald in its commercial advertising a new selection of breakfast options.

As competition increases in the fast food industry and food prices steadily climb, McDonald's hopes that Ronald's new look will rejuvenate people's interest in the brand.

At the time of publication, the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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