Lock up your burgers ... or daughters? McDonald's unmasks its new-look Hamburglar

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The Hamburglar returns.
The Hamburglar returns.

Burger chain takes brand character out of 13-year retirement, divides social media opinion

McDonald’s has brought back the Hamburglar, and it turns out he’s spent the past decade living in the suburbs, raising a family, BBQ-ing, and perfecting his facial hair.

The burger chain unveiled his new guise on social media yesterday, spawning a hot or not debate online. McDonald's has rolled out a 30-second video on YouTube that teases his new identity to promote its new Sirloin Third Burger.

The move comes after McDonald's' newly installed CEO, Steve Easterbrook, vowed that the fast food chain, which faces stifling competition and flagging sales, would inject more "excitement" into the brand.

Last year, the company gave its mascot Ronald McDonald a makeover, and recently refreshed its "I’m Lovin' It" tagline, to mixed response.

"We felt it was time to debut a new look for the Hamburglar after he’s been out of the public eye all these years," Joel Yashinsky, McDonald’s VP of US Marketing, told Mashable. "He’s had some time to grow up a bit and has been busy raising a family in the suburbs and his look has evolved over time."

Read more: Making a Happier Meal for McDonald's

Here's the Hamburglar in his youth, in the retro McDonald's ad about how he got his stripes:

But not everyone is lovin' it. Gawker labeled the Hamburglar as an "EDM-loving arsehole Dad," while Time points out that stealing hamburgers is silly – it makes no economic sense.  

Has the Hamburglar revival given the brand the much desired shot of excitement, or is it nothing more than a short-lived social media stunt? Tell us in the comments below.

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