Arch Deluxe Good Product/Bad Advertising

The Arch Deluxe was created by McDonald’s in 1996 in trying to target the adult demographic. The advertising account was mainly handled by Fallon McElligott, but two other agencies were also brought in to work on the project. The budget for the campaign was around 200 million dollars and was for advertising targeted specifically at adults. Fallon McElligott later dropped McDonald’s as a client, and DDB Needham took over creating their later advertisements for the Arch Deluxe.

2. The situation analysis for McDonald’s was simple. The reason they created the Arch Deluxe was to broaden their image and consumer outlook. During the 1990s McDonald’s products and image were mostly marketed towards children. In trying to broaden its image, they developed a product that would increase the adult audience. They came up with the Arch Deluxe, which was a deluxe hamburger in a series of four new products. The Arch Deluxe was considered the focal point of the ad campaign.

3. The Advertising Agency in which McDonald’s hired for the Arch Deluxe ad campaign was Fallon McElligott who are known for their unconventional work. The burger was marketed towards adult as the ‘Burger with the Grown-up Taste.’ Some of the early advertisements featured kids scowling at the sandwich, meant to convey a “kids hate it” and that it is too “sophisticated.” This strategy of advertising it as “sophisticated” and for “grown-ups only” were the two major flaws with the advertising campaign. The problem with the “sophistication” aspect was that nobody every goes to McDonald’s for sophistication, they go for convenience. The other strategy was that it was sold on taste. People understand that there not going to McDonald’s for a five-star dining experience. Rather, they enjoy coming back to McDonald’s for their friendliness, cleanliness, consistency, and most importantly convenience. To successfully promote the product, the advertisements aimed to alienate children. After DDB Needham took over, the advertisements were less controversial featuring smiling chefs and satisfied adults.

4. McDonald’s Arch Deluxe commercial ( )

5. The Arch Deluxe was one of the most expensive advertising campaigns to date. However, the customers were unsatisfied with the product for a variety of reasons causing its discontinuation. The first reason they were unsuccessful was that the unconventional ads during part by Fallon McElligott advertising agency had customers confused on what was really being presented. The ads were for alienating McDonald’s largest consumer demographic, children, in favor of another, adults. Even when McDonald’s changed advertisers and produced simpler advertisements with smiling chefs, the sales did not rise. Furthermore, customers were turned off by the high price. McDonald’s is known to be reasonably priced so customers felt that it was overpriced for just a typical everyday hamburger.

6. What I would have recommended for this ad campaign and product have would be to use conventional advertising, provide a healthier product, and incorporating a promotion. McDonald’s hired the adverting’s agency Fallon McElligott whom are known for unconventional work. I believe for this particular product they did not need any ground breaking revolutionary advertisement campaign that involved a deeper meaning. Many of the Arch Deluxe ads were centered on children and their attempt to understand what the Arch Deluxe was all about. This seems as if they are subconsciously putting the McDonald’s original image, which was primarily focused on children, back into the advertisement by incorporating children in the TV commercials. The second reason is a healthier product may have been more successful because during that time of the 90’s people were developing a healthy conscious. Lastly, they could have provided a catch similar to what McDonald’s does with their happy meals where they get a free toy. For example, they could have done something like when you buy and Arch Deluxe you get a free apple pie because we know everyone adult loves a delicious freshly cooked apple pie. Some of these suggestions could have made this product a long-lasting success.