What’s missing from Denis Weil’s newly redesigned McDonald’s? It’s more like who: Ronald McDonald, Ad Age’s second-greatest ad icon of the 20th century, seems to have vanished. Activists have called for Ronald to retire (and not because he now clashes with the decor), but McDonald’s, when asked, swears he’s still got a vital role to play. CEO James Skinner gave Ronald the dreaded vote of confidence at the 2010 annual shareholder meeting. Sure, he’s got his charity work (Ronald McDonald House Charities), the occasional Happy Meal box cameo, and live appearances. If he could just book an ironic Super Bowl ad, he could be the next Betty White. McDonald’s won’t use him in national spots, so he’s moved on to plan B. At Sundance this year, he played a criminal in Logorama, an animated short satirizing our brand-saturated culture. Maybe Ronald and the No. 1 icon, the Marlboro Man, are planning their comebacks by hooking up with Sylvester Stallone. Look for them in The Expendables 2. FCS
World Changing Ideas
New workplaces, new food sources, new medicine--even an entirely new economic system.
The major tech ecosystems that battle for our attention and dollars.
What’s next for hardware, software, and services.
The brave new world of automation, from AI to drones.
How our urban centers are building toward the future.
Most Creative People
See members of our Most Creative People in Business community: leaders who are shaping the future of business in creative ways.
An award-winning team of journalists, designers, and videographers who tell brand stories through Fast Company's distinctive lens.