A Bossier City man made his television debut in a new Taco Bell ad along with dozens of others who share his iconic name.
Taco Bell's ad agency, Deutsche LA, went on a nationwide search for real-life Ronald McDonalds to promote their new breakfast menu. It launched Thursday, turning average Joes (or Ronalds) into TV stars. Among them is a Bossier City man named Ronald McDonald, who is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame.
"I felt like a movie star, they treated us so nice," said Ronald McDonald of Bossier City. "We feel like we are all famous now!"
McDonald, the owner of Glenna's Pest Control, was one of 25 with the same name featured in the commercial. All of the McDonalds were flown in early March to California for an all-expense-paid trip and a four day long shoot.
The ad agency even suggested the Bossier City man wear his work uniform and painted a truck with the Ark-La-Tex man's logo on it for the ad. He shot his segment in front of a mansion where the 1983 movie Risky Business was filmed.
"I felt I was pretty fortunate to get picked, you know?" he said.
According to Jeff Sweat, Deutsche's director of PR and social media, the company worked with two casting agencies that specialize in finding real people.
"To find our Ronalds, we combed through social media, including Facebook and LinkedIn," Sweat said. "We found more than 1,000 Ronalds, and contacted as many of them as we could reach."
Some were in disbelief.
"Some of them thought they were getting a prank call because they've been teased about their name their whole lives," Sweat said. "We finally selected 25 Ronalds, based mostly on how willing they were to be a part of the project."
Bossier City's Ronald said he was more than willing.
"I figure I've had to suffer with this name all of my life, I might as well get something out of this," he said.
A disclaimer at the end of the commercial reminds viewers that the McDonalds were paid to be in the commercial, but they claim their reactions are real, and the Bossier City Ronald said it's the truth.
"The director just asked us questions," he said. "They didn't give us any lines to say."
McDonald said this has been one of the best experiences of his life.
"I've gotten to know all of the rest of the Ronald McDonalds and we're all still in dreamland," he said, but predicts just one problem. "I may not be able to go to McDonald's [the restaurant] again!"
Taco Bell media representatives said the commercial was part of the company's largest ever marketing campaign.
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