While McDonald’s tries to re-brand itself as a hip coffee lounge where one can steal free wi-fi, a familiar jester is being pushed to the wayside.  Ronald McDonald is watching his role in advertising diminish as the company tries to kick Starbuck’s in the shins.  Fred Geyer of Prophet Marketing makes an astute point concerning clowns and proper restaurant atmosphere:

“If you are trying to create a place where people want to linger around and sip coffee, a clown doesn’t work.”

With all due respect, Mr. Geyer, these scary bastards beg to differ.

McDonald’s makes great pains to insure us that Ronald is not gone forever; he will be primarily used to lure small, uncorrupted, healthy children into the company’s greasy clutches, thus satisfying everyone’s belief that all clowns have evil intentions.

Also, in a final kiss off to my childhood memories, McDonald’s is planning to replace some of their Playlands with adult lounges full of nice furniture and plasma televisions.  Would it kill them to leave the ball pit so I can watch MSNBC and sip my Frappe while up to my neck in filthy plastic balls?

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