Despite rumors of his retirement, Ronald McDonald is making a return to TV in a series of new commercials.
Ronald’s return to the forefront of McDonald’s kid-focused promotions signals a continued belief in the strength of the character. But is Ronald still relevant to an increasingly cynical youth? Is the antagonism toward Ronald symptomatic of broader parental dislike?
Using our 3 varieties of E-Score Character, Kids and Tots we looked at how people ages 2-5, 6-12 and Parents of kids under 18, view Ronald McDonald. Appeal peaks for kids 2-5 with a top two box score of 61%, declining to 42% for kids 6-12 and sinking to 24% for Parents of kids <18 – the only group for whom appeal is noticeably below average. Parents do, however, consider Ronald to be above average on the attributes Approachable, Believable and Influential.
Source: E-Score Brand Filtered by Parents of Kids <18
While parents are less than enamored of the Ronald character, these attitudes do not appear to carry over to their perception of the McDonald’s brand as a whole. Using E-Score Brand, we see that top-two box appeal for the McDonald’s brand among parents of kids under 18 is at 63%, ten points above the category average, and shows a generally stable long-term trend. Use of the Ronald McDonald character does not appear to be harming the brand, and carries sizeable equity with younger clientele.