The latest Taco Bell TV ad tracks down real life people named Ronald McDonald who just happen to prefer Taco Bell’s breakfast choices to those of rival McDonald’s. It’s a marketing twist that we’re frankly surprised it took a competitor fifty years to think up, and one which McDonald’s won’t easily be able to come up with a retort for – unless there are people in this country whose legal name is Taco Bell. But that brings up an unspoken subtext of the commercial: there are apparently parents in this country who have decided to name their son Ronald McDonald.
That means that Mr. and Mrs. McDonald had a son and, choosing among all the first names that they could possibly have given him, opted to go with the one that gave him the same name as the clown who serves as the face of a fast food restaurant. Because that’s not going to get a kid picked on or anything. The elderly guys named Ronald McDonald in the ad, the ones who were born and named before McDonald’s introduced its mascot in 1963, make sense: their parents just wanted to mess them up a little bit by giving them a first and last name that rhymed, and then due to bad luck, a fast food joint decided to make their life miserable entirely. But how is it possible that there are parents who are still naming their kids Ronald McDonald to this day?
We can almost understand the one young man named Ronald McDonald III. At least in that instance there are generations of tradition involved, and so at least there was valid family reason for naming their kid after a fast food clown. But the other parents of the people who appear in that Taco Bell ad? Their parents decided to name them after the McDonald’s clown just for kicks. And that’s even more embarrassing than being in a Taco Bell commercial.