Whatever Happened to the Hamburglar?

HamburglarWhatever happened to Ronald McDonald? Where is he?  And, the Hamburgler? What happened to him? Did you notice when they left? It occurred to me recently that they are MIA (missing in action) as part of the McDonalds’ brand.

We still have the Ronald McDonald house, which provides a tremendous service to sick children and their families, but where is Ronald McDonald himself? He used to be on TV commercials and made public appearances. You would see him and the Hamburglar and the other characters of Ronald McDonald land at grand openings of a McDonalds and other events. Looks like they were quietly retired from the McDonalds’ brand.

And, who has said hello? The Burger King in his costume.

I personally like the Burger King with his plastic face and frozen smile. Burger King didn’t try to make an animated character or overdo the Burger King concept. He’s just kind of totally fake and you know it, and more importantly, he appeals to kids AND adults.

Brand mascots can really do a lot to build a brand – especially when they are oddly real or people can identify with them – think Energizer Bunny or Owens Corning’s Pink Panther.

But, seriously, what did actually happen to the Hamburglar?

McDonalds’ marketing used to be totally driven towards kids. Their whole advertising was focused on engaging children and reluctantly the parents would give in and truck on down to the local McDonalds to get them Happy Meals that included little plastic toys – like the Hamburglar.

Now, as our population is getting older and making healthier food choices, McDonalds has changed gears – its advertising is focused toward aging boomers who want to have healthier food and McDonalds has revamped its menu to include more salads and lower fat meals.

So, while we might be pained to have seen the exit of Ronald McDonald and the Hamburglar, McDonalds was smart to reposition themselves and take advantage of the changing demographic trends by offering healthier fare that appeals to both boomers and their older, more health conscious children.


  1. Pingback: #10 Top Spokesperson Who Have Come and Gone: Hamburglar « It's a Mad Mad Mad Media World

  2. Brett on July 20, 2009 at 1:54 AM said:

    Well I at least want the Hamburglar back they can keep Ronald and the other stupid charcters I just want him back because his the bad a of the whole group and he needs to shine through.

  3. Rocky Cipriano on March 10, 2009 at 3:33 PM said:

    I miss Ronald McDonald along with all his friends: Mayor McCheese, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, the Fry Kids and of course, the Hamburglar.

    Did you know that Willard Scott, the NBC Today Show’s weather man, first played Ronald McDonald in the original TV commercials back in the 60s?

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