Ronald McDonald\'Ronald McDonald
' is a character created to advertise McDonald's restaurant
chain. Depicted as a smiling, friendly clown
in a village of food
-related characters, he appeared in many vignettes creating a safe, pleasant fantasy for children
. The highly successful advertising campaign continues to draw in parents who succumb to the pleas of their young children for a Happy Meal or other treats from McDonalds.
Many of the restaurants are decorated with a life-size statue of the clown, holding out his hand to greet customers at the entrance, and children love to shake hands with him. Sometimes the figure is sitting on a bench allowing children to sit next to him or on his lap.
Several people work full-time making appearances in the Ronald McDonald costume, visiting children in hospitals. There are also several Ronald McDonald Houses, where parents can stay overnight when visiting sick children in nearby chronic care facilities.
Due to the controversy over fast food, some have likened him to Joe Camel, the former mascot of Camel cigarettes.