TODAY   |  April 25, 2014

Lovin’ it? Ronald McDonald gets a makeover

The iconic mascot has a new look, and people are wondering whether the move will help save the fast-food giant’s slumping sales, reports NBC’s John Yang. The makeover is also stirring lots of online chatter; Carson Daly reports from the Orange Room.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> in one of the nation's most famous food icons is getting a new look and a new outlet, twitter. nbc's john yang is in chicago with more. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning, natalie. we're here at the ronald mcdonald house in chicago. i'm going to get a quick picture here, because i want to remember ronald just as he is right now because he's getting a whole big makeover. they're making him into a whole new clown, and he's all about social media . call it a mcmakeover. goodbye, baggy jump suit , hello, slim cut cargo pants and vest. and for more formal occasions, a red blazer and bowtie. what's not changing, ronald mcdonald 's big red shoes. you don't mess with classics.

>> it was really time to update him and give him a little more of a sophisticated look.

>> reporter: it's his first new wardrobe in nine years, and comes after the company reported a fifth straight month of declining sales at its u.s. outlets.

>> when it comes to eating those delicious mcdonald 's hamburgers.

>> reporter: a big difference from his first appearance in 1963 . by the way, recognize that voice? it's "today's" very own willard scott . in the fast-food wars, analysts say you may redress a figure as iconic as ronald , but never retire him.

>> ronald mcdonald is their michael jordan , so no way do you retire your star player, especially when the stakes are so high. keep ronald in the game.

>> reporter: sean price 's marketing clients, include mcdonald 's, though not on this makeover, which has been years in the making. it's the product of a broadway costume designer and comes as the fast-food icon is getting some trash talk from competitor taco bell , using real life ronald mcdonalds.

>> i'm ronald mcdonald .

>> reporter: to complete the update, mcdonald 's is tweeting ronald 's musings using the #ronaldmcdonald. but social media can be a double-edged sword. just when you thought he couldn't be any creepier. amdo985 says he looks like a misguided dad. that's what was missing, mcd's, a taste in wardrobe. child nutrition advocates are also going after ronald mcdonald with the #momsnotlovingit. sorry. back to you guys.

>> i like the old ronald mcdonald . john yang , thank you.

>> you took a little bit of an issue with the fact that this is a new sophisticated look, right?

>> he's wearing a clown suit . it's a clown suit . it's a good clown suit .

>> cargo pants .

>> carson is in the orange room with more.

>> it's not a clown suit , though, al. look how hip he looks now. this is like the ipod headphones coming out.

>> you wear that.

>> i'm not going to wear that. listen, it's not a beef, if you will, without the competition getting involved. jack in the box tweeting out, #mclifecrclifecrisis.

>> jack in the box talking smack.

>> a selfie. they've got this going out there, too. mcdonald 's is putting a full court social media press out there. but the ultimate question, is what do you think? 57% -- oh, it's changing. now you're not loving it after john yang 's piece has influenced america. but let us know. either way , i think the world will continue to revolve.

>> and we'll continue to eat it.

>> i like the original.

>> not lovin' it.