Around 1963, a McDonald's in Washington, D.C., decided to boost business by sponsoring "Bozo's Circus," a children's show featuring future "Today Show" weatherman Willard Scott.
It was very successful, increasing sales by 30 percent fairly quickly.
As part of the show, Scott created a new character, Ronald McDonald, that looked much different than the famed clown seen today.
This Ronald had a food tray for a hat and a paper cup for his nose, but Smith says corporation executives were able to see the possibilities for something even more iconic.
But it was another clown who refined the character into a company mascot. Read all about the history of the McDonalds clown at AOL Weird News. Link
Previously: Ronald McDonald's first ad.