According to a company release, Ronald McDonald "will take an active role" on McDonald's social media channels around the world."
Ann Hould-Ward, theatrical designer for musicals including Beauty and the Beast, has created a new look for the old clown. He keeps his trademark red and yellow colors but gets a more hip look including yellow cargo pants and vest, red and white striped rugby shirt and, on special occasions, a new red blazer.
McDonald's is not new to social media but it hopes using Ronald McDonald boosts the brand and bring in some new customers. McDonald's has 2.3 million followers on Twitter and 30 million fans on Facebook, which places it well ahead of restaurant rivals. By contrast, Yum! Brands' (YUM) Taco Bell, which is taking on McDonald's using real-life Ronald McDonalds to push its own breakfast menu, has 1.2 million Twitter followers.
But will Ronald McDonald appeal to the targeted audience of millennials? McDonald's needs a boost in sales in the United States, a region where it has struggled lately.