Out with “Dad Jeans” and in with cargo pants: that’s what Smokey the Bear and Ronald McDonald recently decided to do. Their wardrobes aren’t the only thing the 70 year-old bear and 51 year-old clown just decided to update – both classic mascots have now entered our digital world.
Along with a trimmer, more friendly appearance, Smokey the Bear’s “millennial-friendly” makeover also includes Instagram and Flickr accounts, adding to his well-established presence on both Twitter and Facebook.
Smokey has even taken to the real-time “newsjacking” trend with his tweet to the #SanMarcos firefighters during the California wildfire disaster this past week, “Sending a #SmokeyBearHug to the #firefighters battling #SanMarcosFire and others around the #USA.”
Similarly, McDonald's has decided to bring Ronald McDonald back into the spotlight with a more modern, relevant look, as well as a presence on social media using the #RonaldMcDonald hashtag to engage with the fast food giant’s customers. His updated wardrobe and haircut are less “clown” and more mainstream. Of course, the iconic mascot has already posted numerous "selfies."
Although the majority of the Twittersphere were #NotLovinIt, the new and “improved” Ronald McDonald shows that the 74 year-old company wants to keep its golden arches polished and free from tarnish.
Ronald’s transformation proves that they are a modern company that is willing to reconsider, renew, and retry. Every company, brand, and person must do the same if they hope to remain relevant and connected in our fast paced digital environment.
If size, scale, or tradition is the reason why a company isn’t similarly rethinking and re-executing, then recent social media experiments by McDonald’s serves as a wake-up call to its 68 million daily customers in some 119 countries around the world – changing with the times is necessary to succeed!
And yes, I’d like a hashbrown and a hashtag with my meal!
Image credit: Jason Patrick Ross / Shutterstock.com