Taco Bell sparked a media explosion with the use of numerous Ronalds McDonald to launch their new breakfast menu. The campaign, which first aired the last week in March, continues to generate media content across industry and news sites alike. The ads themselves have gone viral, with the :50 version of “Guess Who Loves Taco Bell’s New Breakfast” garnering upwards of 2.4 MM views on YouTube.

Not being ones to miss an advertising juggernaut, or breakfast for that matter, we wanted to see if Ronald McDonald is now working for Taco Bell. Does Taco Bell’s new stable of homonyminally blessed spokesmen go beyond getting attention? Does their opinion count? Do they motivate consumers?

In our Ameritest QSR Ad Appraiser, a syndicated advertising research tool that copy tests all :30 QSR  ads, we tested two :30 Taco Bell Ronald McDonald ads:

A.M. Crunchwrap – Guess Who Loves It (:50 version below, :30 version tested)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABeRbX7QnuI

Guess Who Loves Taco Bell’s New Breakfast (:50 version below, :30 version tested)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKAcOawiaNk

Turns out, Ronald McDonald does work for Taco Bell. In fact, “Guess Who…” snagged our number 4 ranking from the deserving hands of the children in Dairy Queen’s “Help Us Out” spot. Pretty heartless, RM!

That ad exceeded the averages for Attention, Branding, AND Motivation to Visit the Restaurant.”
A.M. Crunchwrap,” also exceeded the average for Attention and was at average for Branding and Motivation.

There is an area for RM and TB to improve, though. In both ads, the most dominant message communicated was convenience. Typically this is a red flag. Frequently convenience is a default perception that comes across in the fast food category when nothing else does (such as good tasting, fresh, overall best, healthy, etc.). Clearly these ads have an awareness objective, and they meet that objective and then some. But Taco Bell’s strategy may need some adjusting when they’re ready to communicate something about their breakfast offering beyond its existence.

So, yes, Ronald McDonald is working for Taco Bell…but there is room for him to work harder!

To learn more about Ameritest’s QSR Ad Research Program or more about the Taco Bell copy test results, please contact Eldaa Daily (eldaa@ameritest.net).