Taco Bell makes our Ronald McDonald a star!


Taco Bell makes our Ronald McDonald a star!

Across America on March 27, Taco Bell launched a very tongue-in-cheek, name-dropping television advertising campaign to herald the debut of its first-ever breakfast menu. And, wouldn’t you know, there’s a very familiar face among all the real-life Ronald McDonalds seen sampling the menu.

UA’s own Ronald "Ron" McDonald, who retired in 2012 as director of leadership development and special projects, is among all those Ronalds seen eating and sharing their positive reviews. Of course, what makes it all so fun is that they share a name with the red-haired mascot of another fast-food chain known for its breakfast menu.

His 15 minutes of fame started with a telephone call from a casting agency a few weeks ago, says McDonald, a '74 UA alumnus who joined his alma mater in 1979. After several interviews, including one with the director, he headed to Los Angeles for filming.

“We all had to sign a confidentiality agreement,” says McDonald. “They worked with six Ronald McDonalds each day, and I was ‘Ronald Akron.’ It was a phenomenal experience being on set. I can’t look at a commercial the same way, now that I’ve seen how they’re made. I know the camera angles and where the sound guy is standing."

“I’d never met anyone who had my name before, so I really enjoyed talking to the other Ronalds and sharing our related experiences with the name.”

The best part of the whole experience?

“It just happened out of thin air — it’s all been fun,” says McDonald. “And yes, we got paid. And every time my commercial airs, I earn residuals.”