How 23 Real Ronald McDonalds Pitched Taco Bell’s Breakfast

You wouldn’t think that Taco Bell and Ronald McDonald would go hand in hand, but you might after the launch of our new Taco Bell Breakfast campaign. In our new commercial for Taco Bell, we asked about two dozen real-life Ronald McDonalds to try Taco Bell’s new breakfast. This is what they thought:

The Ronalds

So how did we pull off having possibly the best-known fast food mascot endorse Taco Bell? It was a massive effort that started with the initial challenge of getting our Ronald McDonalds.

Our team’s casting agency found more than 1000 real Ronald McDonalds from across the country, reaching out to them via social media channels, phone, e-mail and every other form of contact necessary to convince them to come to LA. We were rejected many times, met with skepticism and downright ignored. After being teased about their names their whole lives, some thought we were pranking them.

For many of the Ronalds, it was the first time that they had ever met another Ronald McDonald, let alone twenty other ones all in the same place at once. Many uncomfortable childhood memories of being picked on by name suddenly served as a bonding experience over Waffle Tacos and A.M. Crunchwraps. In the end, some lasting friendships were made as many of our Ronalds planned to keep in touch after the shoot wrapped.

The Creative

When Taco Bell launched breakfast, it had to stand out against an existing handful of players in the fast food breakfast business. Taco Bell doesn’t want to just be another player. “We had two goals for this campaign: one, to let people know that Taco Bell is now serving breakfast and to sell that, but also two, to get across that message in a funny and provocative way,” say Jeremiah Wassom and Armando Samuels, two of the creatives who helped come up with the campaign idea.

And provocative it was. The spot, which originally was supposed to be only one 30-second commercial proliferated into three 30-second commercials and one three-minute behind the scenes look at the project (below).

Oscar-winning director Errol Morris was brought in to lend his documentary style shooting to this commercial, Creative Director Josh DiMarcantonio tells us. He never went the direct route to get a shot, and his own style is what made the end result perfect. He even makes a voice cameo when he shouts “You’re who!” after our first Ronald McDonald introduces himself in the commercial.

Nobody knew just how everything was going to turn out, but once they let go of their reservations and decided to go all in, it turned out exactly how everyone had hoped.

Our digital team also created a site featuring all the items offered in Taco Bell Breakfast.

See all the commercials in the Wake Up, Live Más campaign (with more to come throughout the year) below.