Ronald McDonald: Taco Bell's New Spokesman for Breakfast Launch (Video)

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 11:42 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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"I'm Ronald McDonald, and I love Taco Bell's new breakfast," say a number of real-life men named Ronald McDonald in Taco Bell's new breakfast commercial.

On Thursday, the Mexican fast-food kingpin tried to take market share from fast-foot breakfast heavyweight McDonald's with its new 7 a.m. opening and three key products: The Waffle Taco (a warm waffle wrapped around sausage patty or bacon, with eggs, cheese, and syrup), A.M. Crunchwrap (scrambled eggs, hash browns, cheese, and bacon or sausage in a flour tortilla) and Cinnabon Delights (bite-sized Cinnabon treats), according to USA Today.

Altogether, the 14-item breakfast menu will range from $1 to $2.49, and be available at most of Taco Bell's roughly 6,000 locations.

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Taco Bell President Brian Niccol said the campaign "is about getting people to understand that there's a great alternative to their breakfast routine . . . it's hard to distinguish one breakfast sandwich from another. We needed marketing that is not going to be taken as your ordinary breakfast-menu marketing."

Taco Bell's move precipitates a battle on one of the last frontiers for fast-food: breakfast.

The Associated Press cites figures from market research firm Technomic estimating that the first meal of the day is worth a whopping $50 billion in fast-food. McDonald's currently has the lion's share of the segment, 31 percent. It accounts for roughly 20 percent of the company's U.S. sales.

The breakfast category has been growing for the last four years while lunch and dinner have declined, Ad Age reports. Fast-food accounts for 80% of total restaurant morning meals, and Taco Bell's breakfast rollout seeks to ride the trend as it continues to grow.

The company has been testing breakfast since 2012, and it will be one of its largest campaigns ever, said Niccol—much larger than the Dorito-shell taco.

In total, the company that created the Ronald McDonald ad, Deutsch L.A., found approximately 400 men and women with the name Ronald, Ron, or Ronnie McDonald and ultimately chose 25 to be in the commercial.

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